Eric Bischoff: AEW Needs To Go Head-To-Head With WWE To Actually Compete With It
Credit: All Elite Wrestling
More than perhaps anyone else, Eric Bischoff is quite familiar with battles between wrestling companies.
The former president of World Championship Wrestling, Bischoff helmed the ship while his company competed with Vince McMahon’s WWE. WCW Monday Nitro and WWE RAW famously clashed in a war for ratings and overall supremacy in the 1990s. Though WWE eventually won, the experience taught Bischoff a lot about the wrestling industry.
As a result, Bischoff has an informed perspective regarding All Elite Wrestling’s continual growth. In a recent appearance on Foundation Radio, the WWE Hall of Famer opined that the conflict between AEW and WWE has to become a direct battle to be viewed the same way as the Monday Night Wars.
“I know that everybody wants to talk about what was the Wednesday Night Wars, and comparing AEW to WWE, and here’s what has to happen for that to be viable, the AEW [vs.] WWE approach,” said Bischoff. “AEW’s gotta go head-to-head. There’s gotta be a fight. There has to be a battle. Going back to storytelling, what are the stakes? In a case where you’re laying down an AEW vs. WWE [match, champion vs. champion, okay that sounds really cool if you’re a cosplay wrestling journalist and a fan of those people. But it only works if there’s stakes.
“And the only stakes that matter are who turns out the biggest audience. That’s a fight that people will get behind. That’s a fight that people want to be a part of. That’s what happened during the Monday Night Wars.”
Bischoff then explained that fans cared about the battle between WWE and WCW because the stakes were real, and it was a genuine conflict. He argued that the modern war’ between WWE and AEW won’t be legitimate until the latter company takes viewers from WWE.
“Why [the Monday Night Wars] work,” Bischoff hypothetically asked. “Because it was real, and because people were invested. They were invested in the characters, they were invested in the fight between the two companies. That actually was more important to them, whether they knew it or not, from a storytelling perspective, the battle between WCW and WWE was a more interesting story than the battle between the two people in the ring. That’s why it worked.”
“So until AEW gets to the point where they’re delivering a similar-sized audience and start trying to take some real estate…it’s a war. If you want a war, you gotta have a freaking war. You can’t just, you gotta do it. AEW needs to take away some WWE real estate. And when that starts happening, people will believe the war. And then they’ll be invested. But otherwise it’s just cosplay.”
The full interview is available here: