On the most recent episode of his After 83 Weeks podcast, Eric Bischoff responded to the John Oliver segment from HBO’s Last Week Tonight that highlighted the WWE’s poor treatment of wrestling talent. Bischoff believes that the largest wrestling company in the world could go through a business model change to accommodate their talent, but stresses that wrestlers should understand what they are signing up for in the first place, as this is what wrestling has always been.
The precedent for the industry that we call sports entertainment or professional wrestling, that business model has been around forever. If WWE, which is the largest producer of this type of content anywhere in the world, in the history of the world, if they were to change their business model to accommodate a traditional employer model, I’m not sure what would happen to that company. It’s a substantial change. I’m not saying they can’t do it. I’m not saying they won’t.
I knew what I was getting into when I signed that agreement. I knew there was going to be no health insurance. I knew there was going to be no retirement. Nobody talked to me about a 401(k). I’m intelligent enough to read the agreement I signed….I know what to expect, in return for my services. So it’s hard for me to relate to people that b**ch and whine about it after the fact. If you don’t like that situation, you don’t like the fact that WWE is not offering you the things that maybe you could get at, I don’t know IBM or Apple or an airline, then go work there. But if you’re like me or I’m sure many people who aspire for an opportunity for greatness, like musicians do, you know what? You gotta roll the dice. And if you choose to roll the dice going into that deal knowing what it is and what it isn’t, then don’t b—h and whine about it afterwards.
Bischoff doesn’t deny Oliver’s segment as false. He does however, double-down on placing the decision on the talent’s shoulders.
It is true. So much of it is true. I’m not denying it’s not. But that’s a choice they made. And you go into it knowing that. It’s hard for me to feel too much sympathy for people that make choices and take risks knowing what the odds are, and then whine about it after the fact.
Full podcast is below.