WWE Smackdown Replaces Eric Bischoff, Bischoff Responds
Well, that certainly didn’t take long. After it was announced in June that former World Championship Wrestling president Eric Bischoff had been hired by WWE to act as executive director of Smackdown, a changing of the guards has already occurred.
WWE has announced in a press release that Bruce Prichard will be replacing Eric Bischoff in the role. Prichard will “oversee the creative development” of Smackdown and report directly to Vince McMahon, Chairman and CEO of WWE. The move comes two episodes into Smackdown’s run on Fox. While the network premiere of the series boasted big ratings, the second installment–which featured night one of the WWE draft and Bayley battling Charlotte for the Smackdown Women’s Championship–shed nearly 25% of its total viewers.
Now, WWE is betting on Prichard to carry the show forward. The press release notes he “brings nearly 40 years of experience in sports entertainment with an extensive background in character development and creative storytelling. Over the course of his career, Prichard has served in a variety of roles including announcer, producer, agent, and on-screen personality. Earlier this year, Prichard returned to WWE as a member of the company’s creative team.”
In addition to his time in WWE, Prichard has also worked extensively with Impact Wrestling, and Major League Wrestling. Since returning to WWE in 2018, he hosted a show on the WWE Network, in addition to rejoining the creative team.
Reacting to the news on Twitter, Bischoff wrote, “Bruce is a great producer, good friend and I am certain he is going to thrive in his position. He’s going to be working with a great team of the most dedicated and hard-working people I have had the pleasure of working with and getting to know.”
As of the publishing of this story, Prichard has not commented publicly on the announcement. However, WWE has confirmed to GameSpot that Bischoff is no longer with the company.
Update: Story was edited to include Eric Bischoff’s statement.
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