Speaking on the most recent edition of his “83 Weeks” podcast, Eric Bischoff shared why he does not want to work with AEW, attributing it to the absence of cohesive and coherent storytelling in AEW. He also shared insights on what constitutes a story in wrestling and attributed the poor ratings currently plaguing AEW to this very factor.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On why he does not want to work with AEW: “I’ve been talking you through it for the last year and a half. And every time I do, it’s like, ‘Oh, he’s the old man screaming at the clouds. He’s just f**king jealous because Tony won’t hire him.’ First of all, I wouldn’t take a job right now — well, I won’t say for any amount of money because, look, we all know I’m a whore. But realistically, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near that clown car. And the reason for that is because there is a failure to recognize what’s wrong. It’s simple, its story, and its legitimate story.”
On what constitutes a story in wrestling: “Not what a wrestling fan thinks is a story, or unfortunately what a lot of the talent in the ring referred to as a story. Just because you’ve wrestled in the past and have quote-unquote history does not mean you have a story. A story is a well-defined arc with plot points that happen along the way in a very precise manner so that they peak at certain points within that arc, and they dovetail into other stories within the context of wrestling that are going on. That’s what WWE is doing. The schematic is right in front of you. It’s the inability to recognize it that is what’s causing this issue. I’ve been saying it for a year and a half. When I first started saying it is — I think it was in November, October or November, almost two years ago now.”
On how AEW ratings have dropped due to inconsistent storytelling: “There has to be a story, that has to be the focus. It can’t be dream matches, hardcore, just bleed all over the f**king place. Random matches were thrown together. There needs to be character development and evolution. There needs to be great story. And I said a year and a half, almost two years ago, if they continue to ignore that, AEW ratings are going to become flat and then deteriorate. It was almost two years ago. What are the ratings doing now? They’re flat, and they’re deteriorating.”
In a recent episode of his “83 Weeks” podcast, former wrestling executive Eric Bischoff expressed his reluctance to work with All Elite Wrestling (AEW). Bischoff attributed this decision to what he perceives as a lack of cohesive and coherent storytelling in AEW, which he believes is responsible for the declining ratings of the promotion.
Bischoff emphasized the importance of storytelling in professional wrestling and clarified what he believes constitutes a compelling story. According to him, a story in wrestling should not be based solely on past encounters or history between wrestlers. Instead, it should follow a well-defined arc with plot points that build up to specific moments and intertwine with other ongoing stories within the wrestling landscape. Bischoff commended WWE for its ability to execute this storytelling approach effectively.
Regarding AEW’s ratings decline, Bischoff pointed out that the promotion’s focus on dream matches, hardcore matches, and random matchups has detracted from the development and evolution of characters. He stressed the need for character development and a strong narrative to engage viewers and maintain their interest. Bischoff had been warning about this issue for almost two years, predicting that if AEW continued to neglect storytelling, their ratings would plateau and eventually decline. His predictions appear to be coming true, as AEW’s ratings have indeed become stagnant and are now deteriorating.
Bischoff’s comments shed light on the significance of storytelling in professional wrestling and its impact on audience engagement. While AEW has garnered praise for its in-ring action and innovative approach, it seems that the promotion could benefit from placing a greater emphasis on coherent storytelling to enhance its product.
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