Eric Bischoff has revealed that he was “really disappointed” by the recent round of WWE releases before naming the departure which made the biggest impact on him.
Since April 2020, WWE have a released an ever-growing list of performers citing budget cuts initially stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. The most recent round of these cuts came on November 4th when 18 more Superstars were released, including Keith Lee, Karrion Kross, Nia Jax and Ember Moon.
Bischoff explained that he was disappointed by the releases, highlighting Ember Moon in particular as someone he was surprised to see being moved on.
“I was really disappointed,” Bischoff said. “A couple of them stuck out to me, in particular, Ember Moon was a surprise to me. Only because I worked with Ember for a very brief time back in WWE for an even briefer time. Really really professional, talented, committed individual. I really liked her and was hoping to work more with her because there’s just something about her that made me want to try to come up with something that would help her get to the next level.
“I know that in the office, there were a lot of people that really really supported Ember when she got injured while I was there. It was a devastating injury and most people thought that she was probably not coming back. I know there was a lot of support for her in the office and everybody was of the mindset that everybody was going to give her as much time as they needed because they really appreciated her as a performer and a professional. That’s why that one really jumped out to me.”
Continuing on Eric Bischoff also questioned the release of Harry Smith. The son of the British Bulldog only returned to the company in the summer, competing in one dark match in July. During his this period Smith reportedly contracted COVID-19 which meant he was kept off television.
Bischoff admitted that although he didn’t know the full extent of the situation behind the scenes, he was still wasn’t expecting to see Smith’s name among those heading to the exit.
“As is always the case, there are other things going on that none of us are aware of,” Bischoff said. “From a strategic point of view, from a budgetary point of view, not knowing what the future is over the next year, three-year, five-year plan. There are always things that we don’t know about but that one stuck out to me. Harry Smith [getting released] I was disappointed in.
“I got to know Harry a little bit and talked to him several times away from the business. Just a nice, intelligent, charismatic individual. He just seemed to have all of the ingredients so I was very disappointed for him because I know how committed he is to this industry. That one kind of surprised me and disappointed me.”
Eric Bischoff’s most recent run with WWE came to an end in October 2019 after he had been brought in as the Executive Director of SmackDown only a handful of months previously.
After it was suggested that vaccination status may have played a part in some of the releases, a new report has noted that a “top wrestler” was told they’d be “less valuable to the company” if they weren’t vaccinated.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.