As we previously reported here on eWn, The Rock vs. Roman Reigns is currently planned to headline this year’s WrestleMania XL pay-per-view event. More will be known at the press conference in Las Vegas tomorrow.
Last week on WWE SmackDown, Cody Rhodes revealed that he wouldn’t challenge Roman Reigns at this year’s “Showcase of the Immortals.” He then introduced The Rock.
On a recent edition of his “83 Weeks” podcast, Eric Bischoff discussed WWE changing its WrestleMania XL plans following last week’s episode of SmackDown.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On the the Seth Rollins & Cody Rhodes segment from last week’s RAW: “I mean, there’s nothing you said I can disagree with. You know, it was so awkward. And again — you know, hats off to Seth, Because did his best. I mean, he poured himself into that promo emotionally as best he could, given the fact that it didn’t make any sense. That’s — at the end of the day if it doesn’t make any sense, no matter how passionate you are about it, it’s just hard to hit the right note. And Seth tried. And I think Cody did the best he could do, which is basically to stand there and let Seth lay out the narrative that will presumably be the premise of Cody’s decisions going forward.
“It was awkward. It confused the audience, to your point. Their reaction was damn near non-existent. Awkward is the only word that I can come up with. And it made me — at this point. Saying this a lot as we talked about where we’re going. At this point this past Monday — or in my case, this morning at 5:40 am when I first saw it because I had to go back and watch it on YouTube — it made no sense. It was a disconnect, from everything. From the current story, from the characters? Point, 0-3, bad leg. All that just made no sense.”
On Rock’s appearance at WWE SmackDown: “n I mean clearly it — you know Rock’s entrance. The Rock is The Rock. He is the biggest star on the planet in a number of different ways. Can argue it if if you’re you’re in the mood, I don’t care. He is a massive, massive, massive star. He got the reaction he got because everything he’s achieved, contributed, and been a part of professional wrestling for so long. So you’re gonna get that reaction. So let’s forget about the reaction and get into the meat of the promo.
“A couple of things were interesting to me. And Cody basically said, ‘How about Roman, just you and me?’ Heyman stuck around. Not sure why. That immediately kind of — I know it sounds like a really little thing, but they didn’t give Cody that. They should have given him that. Heyman could have stuck around for a minute, and Cody could have said, should have said, ‘I mean everybody.’ Number one, would have liked to see that. I cannot wrap my head around the premise, meaning ‘I’m going to give somebody else a shot at something that meant so much to me.’ I cannot wrap my head around it. As much as I’m very supportive of WWE creative, particularly in the last 12 months. I’ve been critical of it previously, but the last 12 months, The Bloodline storyline — 18 months, really. It’s just, everything has been so good that when I saw it, I was just so confused by it. None of it made sense on the one hand.”
On why he’s optimistic about the situation: “I’ve had time to think about it. And I’ve read a lot of the online chatter, emotion, 500,000 dislikes; I get all of that. But I’m optimistic. I’m choose, I’m choosing. I’m not subconsciously optimistic, I’m not optimistic by default; anybody who knows me knows that. But here’s the analogy I thought of today. You go to a movie. Sit down with your popcorn, date, friend, whatever. Go by yourself. Sit there with that popcorn. You’ve been looking forward to seeing this movie for a long time. You’ve seen the trailers, done a great job promoting the movie. You are prepared to love that movie when you sit in that chair. You order two popcorns, that’s how excited you are… Then the music starts, boom, open up, you’re in the opening scene of Act One. And that movie grabs you, man. You’re so glad you came to this movie, validated everything you were hoping it would be. You get into that second act, and now you’re at the edge of your seat. ‘Oh my gosh, where’s this gonna go?’ Your hero, protagonist, your baby face, if you will — whatever you want to call it. Everything is going the way you hope it would go. Your hero is overcoming the obstacles one by one. Whether it’s a big green monster or a flamethrower, whatever it is, man. Your hero is overcoming everything they throw in his or her way. And now you’re getting warmed up; you’re into the third act. You know this is a two-hour movie and there’s 20 minutes left and you’re so excited, because you’re finally going to get what you’ve been waiting for. Because there’s been a great story, massive anticipation, the acting, the action is so good. You believe what’s happening. You’ve allowed yourself to get sucked into the journey of your hero.
“And you’re only halfway through your popcorn, you’re so mesmerized by everything that you see, you can’t even eat the popcorn. That’s how excited you are. You’ve got 20 minutes to go, and then all of a sudden there’s a plot twist. A change, something you didn’t expect. ‘Oh my God, my hero’s not going to — this is not what I wanted to happen! Son of a bi*ch!’ And you threw that popcorn… you are hot. And you get up, and you walk out of that movie. You leave your date, your date sitting there goin, ‘What in the hell’… And you get home. Date calls you the next day, friend, whatever. He says, ’Man, you should have stuck around. That movie was awesome.’ ‘What do you mean, it was awesome? How could it be?’ And then you proceed here to how the movie ended. And lo and behold, you are the victim of it. It’s a finely-crafted plot twist. Because just when you think you know the answer, as Roddy Piper would say, they changed the game. Changed the question, changed the ending. It’s a plot twist, that’s what they’re supposed to do.
“Now, I know I’m being overly optimistic perhaps, in the minds of some. But I have confidence in the people involved. They have earned my confidence, not that they give a s**t whether I have confidence in them or not. Clearly not. But I have confidence in him. I believe that the same people that crafted some of the best storylines I’ve ever seen in wrestling, particularly The Bloodline, those same people still work there. Triple H, the guy that everybody’s been talking about in such high regard over the last 12 months. He’s still there. He hasn’t changed. What’s changed is the situation. The situation has changed. Nobody voted for this. Nobody raised their hand, at a meeting a couple of months ago as said ‘Hey, I got an idea. Why don’t we just have this whole thing blow up in our faces, and all this negative press and FBI, and SEC and horrible allegations?’ Nobody wanted this to happen, but it happened. And now we’re in a situation where you’ve probably got crisis management teams, working eight-hour shifts, 24 hours a day, trying to figure out how to manage this insanely unprecedented situation, which is very, very serious. But you’ve also got a crisis management issue in creative, just like you have a crisis management issue in public relations. And now you’re gonna have a nexus of PR crisis management and creative crisis management. What do you do — this is like the most uncertain I think WWE has been in, maybe in forever, and in such a short window of time. This is massive uncertainty. Nobody knows what’s going to happen next. What do people do in times of adversity? Financially, what do you do? You diversify. You don’t want all your money sitting in one place; you want to spread your risk around. You want as many options financially as you can get in the face of adversity. So, what is WWE doing? They brought in The Rock. You’re giving themselves as many options as they possibly can in the face of the adversity that none of them wanted.”