Eric Bischoff provides analysis on Will Ospreay’s decision to join AEW instead of WWE

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Will Ospreay is All Elite after announcing his arrival in AEW at Saturday night’s Full Gear 2023 pay-per-view event.

On a recent edition of his “83 Weeks” podcast, Eric Bischoff discussed AEW signing Ospreay despite the IWGP US/UK Champion having interest from WWE.


You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On the signing: “I certainly don’t know Will Ospreay. The choice that he made had a lot to do with what his personal goals were. I’m sure there was a lot of money on the table from both companies. So when you have two companies that want your services and both of them are offering you a substantial amount of money, then it’s about personal choice and what you want to do with your career. I’m not there, so I hesitate to say certain things, but the impression I get from many of the people that are in — some of whom I stay in touch with — is that there is a lot of freedom there. There are a lot of other things that they get frustrated about, but I think for a guy like Will Ospreay to be able to come in, and I don’t want to say dictate his future, but certainly have a lot of influence, more so than he would probably have in WWE.

“Dave Silva and I, our producer here, were just talking about the value of personal freedom, being able to do the things you want to do with the people you want to do them with, do those things with. And it’s hard to put a price tag on that. You know, if somebody came to me and said, ‘Here’s $1 million a year, but you’ve got to work in an office in New York City, five days a week.’ I couldn’t do it. I would want to do it, but in reality I couldn’t do it because of the way I choose to live. And I think my impression from what I’ve heard and read about Will is that he’s a very independent person. I think it was a better choice for someone who really wants to explore their creative processes and be able to do things that the more formal corporate structure within WWE probably wouldn’t, wouldn’t allow or wouldn’t be as easy.”

On whether Ospreay signed with AEW because they promised him something like a title shot and if he used this tactic: “No. Never, ever, ever. There are certainly times when creative direction and talent is lacking. Talent wanted to know where they would be placed more or less in the food chain. They wanted assurances they weren’t going to be stuck in the middle of the card and things like that. And in matches, that doesn’t mean as much. And that’s what that really means, right? Though many of those types of conversations, other than really brand new talent or a really young talent, almost always had those conversations, but never specifically about a title run. That’s it.

“I don’t know, maybe things have changed. People have changed. Maybe that’s really important to a guy like Will Ospreay. I would hope that Will has great management. Or at least a mentor or somebody who can guide him, that’s been through this process and been around for a minute. It’s all about the money. You know, in the industry that Will [is] in, injuries can happen, and sometimes they can be career-ending. You’ve really got to — I think you really should make the maximum amount of money that you can while you’re at your peak. Because even if you’re 25, 26, or 28 years old, your peak may be dictated by things that are out of your control. So you want to make as much money as you can. But maybe there are some people out there that just want to be a world champion. It is hard for me to relate to that, but whatever.”

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Will Ospreay, the IWGP US/UK Champion, has made a big move by signing with All Elite Wrestling (AEW). This announcement came during the Full Gear 2023 pay-per-view event, and it has generated a lot of buzz in the wrestling community.

On a recent episode of his podcast “83 Weeks,” Eric Bischoff discussed Ospreay’s decision to join AEW instead of WWE, despite having interest from both companies. Bischoff acknowledged that both promotions likely offered substantial amounts of money to Ospreay, but ultimately, it came down to personal choice and career goals.

According to Bischoff, one of the factors that influenced Ospreay’s decision was the freedom he would have in AEW. While there may be frustrations and challenges in any wrestling promotion, AEW provides a platform for wrestlers to have more creative control and influence over their careers. This level of personal freedom is invaluable to someone like Ospreay, who values independence and wants to explore his creative processes.

Bischoff also touched on the topic of whether AEW promised Ospreay a title shot as part of their agreement. He stated that while talent often seeks assurances about their placement on the card or creative direction, conversations about title runs are less common. However, he acknowledged that people and circumstances change, and perhaps Ospreay had specific desires related to becoming a world champion. Bischoff emphasized the importance of making the most money possible while at the peak of one’s career, as injuries or other factors can unexpectedly impact a wrestler’s trajectory.

Overall, Ospreay’s decision to join AEW reflects his personal goals and the desire for creative freedom. While WWE may have also presented an enticing offer, AEW’s platform allows wrestlers like Ospreay to have more influence over their careers and explore their creative potential.

As wrestling fans, we can look forward to seeing how Ospreay’s journey unfolds in AEW and the impact he will make on the promotion.