Eric Bischoff Evaluates CM Punk's Return

12/12/2023 1:30 AM

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Eric Bischoff Evaluates CM Punk's Return

Eric Bischoff Evaluates CM Punk's Return

December 12, 2023 1:30 AM
Eric Bischoff Evaluates CM Punk's Return
WWE News

"Easy" E's Evaluation May Surprise You

Eric Bischoff evaluates CM Punk's return, and you may be surprised by what the former WCW executive and RAW General Manager had to say. After all, Bischoff has been very critical of Punk's past behavior.

"Easy" E discussed Punk's return on a recent episode of his 83 Weeks... podcast:

“Well, it’s working, right? Great reaction. It started out great. A fantastically timed surprise at the end of a pay-per-view, as opposed to the beginning or somewhere in the middle. I thought that was so well done. Story, anticipation, reality, surprise, and action. So far, WWE has checked and double-checked and triple-checked each one of those boxes.”

H/T Ringside News

Bischoff harkened back to his belief in a certain way of presenting storylines to engage fans. In his book, Controversy Creates Cash, Eric explains it as follows:

I started preaching the formula to my writers. I called it SARSA: Story, Anticipation, Reality, Surprise, Action.

As Bischoff recalls, he borrowed the elements "story, actions, and surprises" from legendary NBC producer Dick Ebersol (who played a key role in the creation of the WWF's Saturday Night's Main Event). Bischoff explained that SARSA could help:

To keep the audience in that “sweet spot” where they were willing to suspend their disbelief, where they were guessing whether things were real or not, we needed a certain level of reality. Real life mixed in with the storylines, and angles blurred the distinction between entertainment and reality

H/T Controversy Creates Cash

During his podcast, Bischoff explained how Punk has the potential for a great run:

“It’s going to be great for CM Punk, provided he doesn’t melt down and do some stupid shit. If he keeps his act together and maintains a professional approach to this, he’s going to be hotter than he ever was. Hats off to him. Hats off primarily to WWE because they’re doing it right.”

H/T Ringside News

As Bischoff discussed, the WWE is checking all the boxes. The promotion is capitalizing on the excitement for Punk's return by featuring him on every WWE brand. They've also created some suspense with the question of which brand he'll sign on. This has led to increased ratings, increased ticket sales, and robust merchandise sales.

Will Punk Headline WrestleMania 40?

As for WrestleMania 40, Bischoff mused over what looks to be the main events for nights one and two.


“I’m already convinced it’s going to be Seth and Punk. From the get-go, you know, Seth’s reaction outside the ring when Punk first showed up. Well done, by the way, it felt very believable and real, and perhaps some of it was. That’s one of the great things about taking personal issues from outside the ring and being able to bring them in the ring, turn up the volume on them, and make them a part of the backstory. Make them a part of act one to launch the story. It was really well done, but I think because it was so well done and the focus and everything was there, I’m convinced that it’s going to be Punk and Seth."

H/T Ringside News

Does Eric Bischoff Believe CM Punk Can Behave Himself in the WWE?

One of the most interesting segments during Eric Bischoff's podcast was when he speculated on how Punk will behave in the WWE:

"I suspect that, two things, one is I don't think CM Punk is going to even try to exert the kind of, I'm gonna call it bullying. He ain't throwing his weight around backstage at WWE anywhere. The company is so much bigger than him. There's no room for that there and nobody will tolerate it, and I think because of history, people will be watching very carefully how Phil Brooks as an individual handles himself professionally behind, because there's there's no question the CM Punk character is viable and is valuable. The question is, is Phil Brooks the professional that he needs to be to make it work? I suspect he probably is.

Naturally, whether Punk can behave is the million-dollar question (actually lots of millions). As Bischoff mused, the WWE isn't going to give Punk the same leeway he enjoyed in AEW:

I suspect that, I hope, that Phil Brooks is going, 'Wow, this is a hell of an opportunity. I can write the end of my own story. I can retire from this business on a positive note and oh, by the way, I can pocket millions of millions of dollars along the way, but I gotta be a team player.' That's what I hope and that's what I think is probably going on because he's a smart guy. He has to be a smart guy to get where he is right now. But I do think that there's probably eyes on Phil Brooks in the way he conducts himself, but I don't know where the guardrails are, but I don't think it's going to be an issue. I really don't."

H/T Yardbarker

There's only one thing fans can do right now and that's for things to play out in the WWE. CM Punk has a golden opportunity and it will be fascinating to see how things play out over the next few months.

What do you think about Eric Bischoff's take on CM Punk's return? 

Photo Credit: AEW