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Eric Bischoff – ‘I’ll Be Shocked If Cody Rhodes Doesn’t Finish The Story At WrestleMania 40’

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On a recent edition of his “Strictly Business” podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Eric Bischoff discussed the recent build for the WWE World Heavyweight Title match at WrestleMania 40, Roman Reigns potentially losing the Undisputed WWE Universal Title to Cody Rhodes next weekend, and more.

You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On WWE giving the CM Punk, Drew McIntyre and Seth Rollins promo on Raw ‘creative liberties’: “It was very noticeable to me, and this is not a criticism. This is an observation that will sound to internet trolls like a criticism, which is pretty much what goes on on the internet. But I thought it was clunky [in a good way]. It was apparent to me within the first 45 seconds in less than a minute that this was odd. Not ‘good’ odd, not ‘bad’ odd; just odd. It was just different than what we’re used to seeing. Because what we’re used to seeing when it comes to in-ring and backstage promos — which don’t even get me started about backstage s**t again, please or we will be doing another show, because we won’t have a choice.

“But it was different from what we were used to seeing. And it made me lean in to figure out, ‘Why am I feeling different about this?’ And it became apparent pretty pretty quickly that, ‘Oh, these guys are riffing.’ None of them were working [off a script], I’m sure they had bullet points. They knew what they were out there to achieve. But it was like, ‘Okay, go.’ And to be perfectly honest, not all of it hit. There were some fumbles in there. I mean, there were minor, minor, minor, minor fumbles. More — I won’t even say fumbles. There was some awkwardness in the interaction, which is what led me to believe, ‘Okay, this is not typical WWE,’ but in a good way. I felt like I was watching live TV as opposed to Disney on Ice in an IMAX theater.”

On enjoying the promo: “So I dug it, I did get a little — about two thirds of the way through it, I started — my producer hat, somebody threw it at me and I put it on by mistake, and started thinking about it. I was man, ‘This is not producing much. There’s not a lot of — whatever the intent was, I think they’re probably coming up a little short.’ Until the end, and it paid off spectacularly. And it was like, “mucker fudders, they got me. They got me!’ So no, I loved it. And look, hats off to everybody. Punk, Drew, everybody involved in that, Seth. But particularly Punk and Drew. Because the whole idea of you know, a confrontation. And intelligently, they didn’t put Drew in a ring because that would have almost forced something that couldn’t happen, obviously. But number one, you’re outside of the ring. So cutting a promo back and forth with somebody, when you’re 30 feet away from them is a little more challenging. Like, when you’re face to face it’s a lot easier, you know, four or five feet apart. It’s a lot easier to make it feel real, because you’re feeling it. It’s like when I used to do promos, and I’d be in the ring and somebody would be up on the ramp. I hated those things, because that distance took the energy away in terms of the ping-pong that you do when you’re out there with a microphone battling, so to speak.

“So number one, the distance between them. And I know that’s gonna sound like it doesn’t make sense. But if you’re a performer and you’ve been in that situation, you understand it. You feel it. But bigger than that was, we’re out here having a debate between two megastars, and building tension about whether or not Punk’s going to be a referee or a color commentator. I mean, the stakes were a little limp. I wanted to throw them both a BlueChew digitally, because it was kind of lasted. It just didn’t — eh. Until the end. And then it picked up, and it all came together. So you know, hats off to him. Everybody did a great job. But it’s hard as a performer — if you don’t have something real. Real stakes or a real issue, real intent. So for Punk to come out there — number one he’s injured, bad situation. To have somebody making fun of you for being injured, especially when it’s true, even more difficult, right? That takes — it’s harder as a performer. But it all came together; I thought they did a great job and they deserved the pop that they got.”

On WrestleMania 40 being the time for Reigns to lose the Undisputed WWE Universal Title: “I’ll be shocked if they don’t. And if they don’t, it’s because they’ve come up with a much better plan. But I can’t imagine what that would be.”

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