On a recent edition of his “Strictly Business” podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Eric Bischoff discussed WWE NXT moving from the USA Network to The CW Network in 2024, recent statements made by WWE CEO Nick Khan, and more.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On his reaction to the announcement: “Surprised. To be honest, I was surprised that USA would let it go. I was a little surprised that WWE would move their program over to CW, but after learning more from. Our guest who’s coming up and reading a little bit more. It all started to make a great deal more sense. And Mike Johnson, the man who broke the news, is probably going to do an in-depth job of explaining why and how. And we’ll all discuss what the future could possibly look like as a result.”
On Nick Khan touting WWE as a sport: “I don’t think it’s a change in perception. I think it’s a sales tactic. It’s marketing, it’s branding. It’s creating a perception in order to control your reality. It’s not sports, folks. You can’t bet on it. It is scripted entertainment that looks like sports. But I think the connection that I heard is because I know you love looking at professional wrestling as a sport. But it’s not sports. It’s scripted, live-action entertainment. But the two words that coincided in all of those references that I’m sure everybody wants to believe that it’s a sport in terms of the business. We all know what professional wrestling is, but to throw it into the same bucket as the NFL, ACC, and NASCAR is great from an advertising or marketing perspective to would-be advertisers. Live. It’s live. It’s not sports, it’s not live sports. It’s just live. And the value of professional wrestling is that it has a loyal, very loyal audience. I would argue, in some cases, more loyal than some sports because it is almost loyal to the point of obsessive compulsiveness. It’s got a large, loyal audience that wants to see it live. Not one of them thinks it’s a sport, nor do any advertisers that know what they’re doing. Think of it as a sport, but they do recognize that it’s live and it’s action, and there’s a sports-based audience that are going to be attracted to it. There is a lot of crossover, but it’s not sports. It’s a rub. It’s no different than putting the mid-card talent that nobody really knows and is trying to break through, and you see a lot of potential and then throwing them in the ring with The Undertaker. It’s a rub. That’s all it is. It’s not a sport. Nick Khan, it’s a freaking rub.”
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WWE NXT, the developmental brand of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), is set to make a move from the USA Network to The CW Network in 2024. This announcement has surprised many, including WWE Hall of Famer Eric Bischoff, who recently discussed the move on his “Strictly Business” podcast.
Bischoff expressed his surprise at USA Network letting go of NXT and WWE’s decision to move the program to The CW Network. However, after learning more about the move, he began to understand the reasoning behind it. Bischoff mentioned that Mike Johnson, who broke the news, will provide a more in-depth explanation of why and how this move is happening.
Another topic discussed on the podcast was recent statements made by WWE CEO Nick Khan, who touted WWE as a sport. Bischoff believes that this is not a change in perception but rather a sales tactic and a way to market and brand WWE. He emphasized that professional wrestling is scripted entertainment that may resemble sports but is not actually a sport. Bischoff mentioned that the connection between professional wrestling and sports is made to attract advertisers and create a perception of live action. While there may be crossover between sports and professional wrestling audiences, it is important to recognize that professional wrestling is not a sport but rather a unique form of live entertainment.
The podcast episode also featured a video embedded in the article where viewers can watch the full discussion between Eric Bischoff and his guest.
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In conclusion, the move of WWE NXT from the USA Network to The CW Network in 2024 has surprised many, and Eric Bischoff shared his thoughts on this development on his podcast. Additionally, Bischoff discussed Nick Khan’s statements about WWE being a sport and clarified that professional wrestling is scripted entertainment, not an actual sport.