Eric Bischoff gave his thoughts on the recent talent cuts that WWE has made during the latest episode of the 83 Weeks Podcast.
In just 2021, WWE has released 80 wrestlers from their contracts and cited budget cuts as the reason even though the company is wildly profitable.
“The rest of the talent, here’s my impression from way outside the lines and being on the outside looking in: I think this is just a market correction,” Bischoff said. “I think WWE for whatever reason stacked a lot of talent, and I’m talking about developmental talent. These are not all big name, well established characters or personalities in WWE, a lot of these people I’ve never heard of before. Only because they haven’t been prominent on Raw or SmackDown. I think that for whatever reason the strategy over the last five or six years with NXT is being re-evaluated and as a result there’s just a lot of talent that’s looking for work today. That’s just a market correction.”
AEW President Tony Khan has not cut many wrestlers at all, except for situations where it came down to behavioral issues. Bischoff explained the differences between AEW and WWE.
“Here’s the difference though,” Bischoff mentioned. “I understand what Tony is saying and I applaud him for caring as much about his talent as he does, how could that be a negative thing, it’s not. But here’s the reality, again: WWE is a publicly held company, AEW is not. WWE has a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to make decisions and manage their business in a way that will most benefit the shareholders. Would Vince McMahon personally prefer not to have to release this talent? I’m not saying he does or doesn’t, but he has no choice. Even if he did, he has no choice, he has to manage his budget and his business in a way that is most beneficiary to his shareholders.
“Tony Khan has to manage his business in a way that most suits himself. There’s a big difference between the two and I think criticizing WWE for exercising fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders, whether or not you believe it’s also setting them up for a potential sale, take that aspect out of it. To criticize WWE for managing their budget in a way that they’ve been entrusted to by their shareholders and by law have to manage said budget in a way that is beneficiary to their shareholders. To criticize WWE for that is understandable but not the whole story. It’s easy, especially only because these are emotional situations for the talents that are being released.”
H/T to Wrestling Inc for the transcription