Eric Bischoff Shares His Thoughts On Tama Tonga Signing With WWE

WWE Hall of Famer and former WCW President Eric Bischoff took to an episode of his 83 Weeks podcast, where he talked about a number of topics including Sheamus returning from his injury.

Bischoff said, “He’s got a pretty interesting horizon right now, doesn’t he? He’s been off long enough that he’s like, absence makes the heart grow fonder factor that has kicked in. It feels fresh. Would it have been nice if Sheamus had a story starting a year ago or six months ago, perhaps it would have built towards WrestleMania? Sure, that would be nice, but if I’m Sheamus right now, I’m looking at what happens to me over the next 12 months. What am I going to be doing looking forward to the next WrestleMania because he’s got a clear runway and he’s got some support behind him. He’s got a great creative team behind him now. I mean, functionally, I think WWE creative has probably never been even close to the level of efficiency and the quality of work that we’re seeing now by evidence just by what we’ve seen on the screen. If I’m Sheamus, this is like a whole new lease on life and I’m very happy for him. He’s somebody that when I was in WWE back in 2019 for that cup of coffee, he was one of the first people that I started speaking to right away and we developed a great relationship over a very short period of time. I never really got a chance to work with him the way I wanted to. Great guy, amazing talent. Can’t wait to see what happens with him.”

On Tama Tonga signing with WWE:

“Another young, amazing talent that’s stepping into an environment that is hot as hell right now and he’s stepping into one of the hottest storylines, I think, in my lifetime, I mean, as far as the quality of storytelling and you look at the stars that have emerged out of that storyline over the last couple of years, holy sh*t. Again, what a bright future this young man has. I couldn’t be happier for him.”

On the rumor that Milwaukee may host a Royal Rumble:

“Milwaukee has always been a great wrestling town going all the way back to the days of the Crusher. Oh man, I miss those days as a young kid watching the Crusher, but it’s always been a blue collar town, blue collar city, almost a suburb of Chicago. It’s only an hour drive or whatever it is. It’s easy to get to. Chicago is a major market. You look at the Chicago market and Milwaukee (market). Milwaukee is not even that far from Minneapolis, so you got some big, big, dense populations of wrestling fans. Milwaukee’s right kind of smack dab in the middle of it all. Great choice. It may not be a sexy town, but it’s a great town for wrestling.”

On the changes we are noticing on WWE programming since Vince McMahon left the company:

“I was responsible for the SmackDown writing team (when he got hired in 2019). So probably one of the first weeks I was there, and I’m not going to name names because some of these people are still there and it wasn’t their fault by any stretch, but one of the things that left a big impact on me was I came in with so much enthusiasm and feeling like, at least I was a fresh set of eyes because I hadn’t been part of the system. Sometimes when you bring in somebody with a fresh set of eyes, even though their ideas may not be the best ideas, the fact that they’re throwing different ideas on the table creates a different conversation and a writing process when you’re working with a team. It’s just a different perspective. I came in and I wanted to make an impression. I wanted to be a part of the team. I wanted to get my hands dirty and I did to the extent that I could because I had a very limited amount of time to work with the writing team itself because of all the other things I was doing. I was onboarding for about two and a half of the four months I was there.”

“I remember one of the first meetings where I actually sat down and we said, ‘Let’s take a look at next week’s show. Let’s bounce some ideas around.’ I threw a couple ideas out and there was one person in particular there that every time I would throw an idea out, he would be like, ‘Oh, no, no, Vince would hate that.’ It wasn’t like this person knew Vince better than I did. It’s that this person was so afraid to even explore an idea because he anticipated how Vince would react based on his tenure with the company and he’d been there for a long time. The fear of failure that I just talked about a few moments ago was everywhere on the creative team. Some people expressed it differently. There were certain people there, again, I’m not going to name names because these are people that I respect, and they’re still there. They handled it professionally, but they understood, ‘I’m not pitching that. Vince will hate that.’ ‘Well, let’s talk it through.’ ‘No. I remember we pitched an idea like this once about 18 months ago or two years ago and he hated it.’”

“When you’re operating from that mindset, when you’re in a creative position, you’re just going to be miserable and you’re not going to achieve any success. So I say all this and I give you this background to support my perspective of what happens when you bring in new people who aren’t afraid to fail. It’s okay to come up with a bad idea. It’s okay to try by executing an idea that people aren’t really sure about, maybe some people don’t agree with, but you don’t know until you try. Hopefully your odds when you’re trying things are much, much better than when you’re not, but if you’re starting from a point where you’re afraid to fail, because someone’s going to call you a name or publicly ridicule you or ridicule you in front of your peers, which I did see, and those people were affected by that, and then you expect that creative team to be creative, it doesn’t work, and it didn’t work. I think whether it’s Lee Fitting, Paul Levesque, Bruce Prichard without having to be the Vince whisperer, kind of like the horse whisperer (he laughs). He spoke good of Vince probably better than most. When those people are no longer feeling like they’re handcuffed or afraid, f**king game on, and I think that’s what we’re seeing.”

On Kenny Omega saying he shouldn’t be an EVP in AEW:

“It’s the most honest, adult thing I’ve heard out of AEW in months. It adds to his credibility and his character and respect because he’s being honest, and he had fun doing it in the process.“

On if HOOK goes to WWE will it create a problem for Taz in AEW:

“Will Tony have an issue with it? Your guess is as good as mine. Taz won’t. I don’t know HOOK. I don’t know him as a person, so I can’t honestly have an opinion. I wouldn’t think so. Fortunately, HOOK’s got a father who understands the business and has been through it in every way, shape, or form. He understands the business and knows how to make the right decisions, so I suspect HOOK, by virtue of proximity, has some of those same feelings and perspectives that I for one hope, because I’m friends with Taz. I like Taz and I hope as a father, that HOOK gets the f**k out of there as fast as he can. If he’s got an opportunity at NXT, or in WWE in any way, shape, or form, take it.“

You can check out the complete podcast in the video below.