Former WCW President and Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff talked about WWE’s Friday Night Smackdown premiere on Fox during a recent episode of the 83 Weeks Podcast, where he discussed Vince McMahon and Jeff Hardy.
Bischoff opened up about Jeff Hardy’s addiction struggles back in 2019. Bischoff went on to say that he wasn’t upset working backstage during that time because this news was not shocking to him. He went on to say that others in the company weren’t angry either when finding out the news they were more focused on fixing creative.
Eric explained, “I wasn’t critical, I wasn’t angry because I wasn’t surprised by it.” “Jeff has gone through this so many times. It was obvious to me a few times I had crossed paths with Jeff that he was probably still using. Sometimes you can tell by the things you see or hear on social media that were a little off. I wasn’t surprised.”
“If you’re not prepared to deal with that type of thing without losing your s—t, then you probably shouldn’t be in that business. Probably spent more time and energy fixing things that weren’t able to happen because plans change. You spend a lot of time creatively making chicken salad out of chicken s—t. There was a general sense of disappointment. I didn’t sense anger from anyone else; it was just ‘oh god, here we go again.”
It was back in July, that Hardy was involved in a storyline with Sheamus where his issues with addiction were the main focal point. Bischoff talked about WWE using his substance abuse issues in a storyline and why he has no judgment towards them doing it.
“I have no judgment on that,” Bischoff said. “I don’t know all the details, all the background. Was it Jeff’s idea? I think it’s inappropriate to pass judgment. If it was Jeff’s decision and if it allowed him to confront his challenges in an honest or open way, then I think it was a good way-If it was Jeff’s decision. I don’t know, so I refuse to pass judgment.”
Bischoff also talked about working with WWE during the premiere episode of Smackdown on Fox. The show opened up with Vince and Stephanie McMahon introducing the fans to the new look of Smackdown on Fox. Bischoff said that Vince was hesitant to go out in front of the crowd, but Stephanie convinced him to.
Bischoff shared more on this by saying, “I actually got tears in my eyes when I saw Vince and Stephanie go out,” “ It was my impression that Vince didn’t really want to do it. It was also my impression that Stephanie really did want him to do it. Guess who won?”
“I saw it go down. I saw the hesitation from Vince; I saw the pressure put on from Stephanie. It made my heart full seeing that father-daughter relationship in that exchange. It was really important to Stephanie when they went out and did it, and it was the right thing to do. It brought tears to my eyes.”