Controversy creates cash, and there was plenty of both when Goldberg defeated Bray Wyatt in Saudi Arabia. On the latest episode of “Strictly Business,” Eric Bischoff discussed the utilization of part-time stars in wrestling, and his former employee, Goldberg, has become a modern-day embodiment of the term. Goldberg ended the winning streak of the Fiend in 2020 at WWE Super Showdown, and while many were upset about the result, Bischoff boiled it down to one undeniable aspect that’s been part of the business since the beginning.
“I can give you about 39,999,000 million reasons why that was a decent idea,” Bischoff said. “It was all business. $40 million, and I know what wrestling fans are thinking, ‘Oh my God, it’s all about the money.’ Yes. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s all about the money.”
Bischoff painted a picture, which may or may not be accurate, of Vince McMahon wanting to protect the Fiend character, but being swayed to put Goldberg over by the desires of the Saudi Arabian government, who financed the show. WWE’s shows in Saudi Arabia have all largely been characterized by an emphasis on talent from previous generations.
“You’re gonna give the customer what the customer wants for $40 million bucks,” Bischoff proclaimed. “You’re the chairman of the board of a publicly held company. Are you going to have to answer to your shareholders cause you turned down 40 f*cking million dollars because you didn’t want a character to lose? $40 million dollars! That’s a class-action lawsuit, you gotta do what you gotta do!”
Bischoff also presented another reason as to why having a seemingly unstoppable character like the Fiend lose should be okay in the grand scheme of things.
“If a character’s strong, and Bray was, that loss isn’t going to matter,” he said. “A strong character can take a loss. Now granted, that character is a very unique character. Had to be handled in a very unique way, but it could have been possible to do it.”
All that considered, in Bischoff’s view, no one wrestler or character is worth forfeiting that Saudi paycheck.
“Let’s assume that loss to Bill Goldberg for the sake of argument, in Saudi, absolutely caused Bray Wyatt to hit a roadblock,” he said. “Brick wall. Boom. Crash. Does that cost you more than $40 million dollars?”