Former WCW President Eric Bischoff criticized the storytelling structure in WWE, saying it needs to be “de-sanitized.”
Eric Bischoff is no stranger to attracting new fans to wrestling as he was instrumental in building WCW to its most successful period. With ratings declining on both Raw and SmackDown over the past few years, it’s obvious that new viewers are not tuning into the main WWE products the way they have in years past.
In a recent interview with CBS Sports’ Shakiel Mahjouri, Bischoff detailed what needs to change for WWE to attract and retain fans long term.
“It would be story structure. It would be taking a more pragmatic approach to story structure. Actually, discipline would be a better word than pragmatic. It would be first recognizing that a good story has to have structure.
It would be no different than shooting a movie that doesn’t have a script blocked out and not really knowing what the end of the movie is. You couldn’t be in the movie business that way. You couldn’t produce television shows that way. You can’t even write a book that way.
I think with WWE because of the sheer volume of products that they produce globally every week, it only creates a more significant need for a more disciplined and well-thought-out story structure.
Bischoff then continued, stating that too much of the storytelling in WWE feels the same across the board and that fans don’t get the live event appeal anymore when watching the product because it’s almost too perfect.
“That’s part of the flaw with WWE creative, at least in my opinion, is that there’s such a sameness to everything. OK, one show is red and one show is blue, and there’s different names on the roster, but the look and feel, the story-telling technique, or lack thereof, everything feels so familiar and has felt so familiar for so long. I think it would need to be de-sanitized.
The WWE is such a perfectly executed live production that it doesn’t even feel live anymore. It feels like you’re watching a feature film. I think with wrestling because of what it is, an arena-based event, you want the viewers at home to feel like their part of that event. Sometimes overproducing that show can take that away from the home viewer.”
Last January, Eric Bischoff spoke with Inside the Ropes’ Kenny McIntosh and discussed other creative opinions such as why Goldberg doesn’t work as a character in 2021 but Sting does.