Eric Bishoff gives his thoughts on the philosophy that if professional wrestlers aren't striving to be the World Champion, they're in the wrong industry.
Plenty of wrestlers, including Steve Austin and Dusty Rhodes, have been quoted as saying that if wrestlers are not aiming to be the World Champion they are in the wrong industry. However, it is very well known that through the years in wrestling, several top wrestlers, such as Jake Roberts and Owen Hart, went their entire careers without ever being World Champion of a major wrestling promotion.
During a recent episode of his 83 Weeks podcast, Eric Bischoff gave his thoughts on this philosophy and why he disagrees with it even though he understands its sentiment.
"I'm torn because I understand the motivation behind it," he said. "If you're not motivated to be the very best at what you do, then maybe you're not in the right position, and that applies to any profession, right? There are a lot of really, really, really super successful people that had an amazing time in the professional wrestling business for decades or more that were never World Champion. So it's not like your career is meaningless if you've never become World Champion, because you're contributing a lot. In many cases, your contribution is incredibly valuable. I don't know. I tend to disagree. I think a healthy perspective would be, 'I want to do everything I can to become the World Champion. I want to improve my game. I want to work on whatever weaknesses I have, whether it's my interview skills, my physique, my work in the ring, or even the way I conduct myself backstage, I want to check every box I can to get that opportunity, but I'm not going to allow myself to be disappointed in myself for my career choice if that ever happens.'
Bischoff used Dolph Ziggler as an example of someone who has had a successful career while never being the top champion.
"I don't think Dolph Ziggler right now is sitting at home lamenting the fact that he's not the World Champion, alright, because he probably has millions and millions of reasons sitting in a bank account somewhere to suggest otherwise. I think he truly enjoys what he does. I get that impression. I don't talk to him, but I get the impression that he really enjoys what he does. So I understand it, I can relate to it to a certain extent, but I would be careful to instruct people, 'Look, if you can't be World Heavyweight Champion, or if you don't have that desire, you shouldn't be in this business.' I don't necessarily agree with that, but I understand it," he said.
Dolph Ziggler did have two short runs as WWE World Heavyweight Champion, once in 2011 for less than an hour and once in 2013 for less than two months. However, he was never the main event-level WWE Champion for an extended length of time.
Ziggler was unfortunately released by WWE on September 21, 2023, but received praise from individuals such as The Rock and Ric Flair for his fantastic career. Fans can read more reactions at this link.
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