On a recent edition of his “Strictly Business” podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Eric Bischoff criticized AEW for its lack of storytelling, Tony Khan’s important announcement being the All In 2024 presale/general public ticket on-sale dates, and more.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On the reaction to it: “When we’re done, I’ll show you some of the stuff that’s been on my feed, and I haven’t solicited it. I said a couple of weeks ago I’m going to try to be objective, and yes, I’ll answer a question if I’m asked, but I’ll try to be as constructive and as kind as I can be in some of those responses. I just don’t want to constantly be bashing.”
On lack of storytelling in AEW: “Here’s the truth, John. There’s nothing that I can say. There is nothing I can say that I haven’t been saying for two years. Right? There’s nothing new here. It’s the same issue over and over and over and over again. I can’t talk about storytelling any more than I have for the last two years. And by the way, two years ago, over two years ago now, probably, you know, everybody was like, oh, you’re so negative. Are you just pissed off that Tony wouldn’t give you a job? I wouldn’t want a job with you. And not because it’s not a good place, and it’s not an opportunity, and not because I don’t need the money, necessarily. But. At this time of my life, at this stage of my life, I just don’t want that. Scituate. I don’t. I don’t want that burden. I don’t want to have to because to do that job well, you’ve got to live with it. It’s 24 hours a day. You’re not there in the office 24 hours a day. You’re not on location 24 hours a day, but you’re thinking about it 24 hours a day. And I don’t have room to be, to be honest with you, in my life, I have other things that I’m far more interested in, and I’d rather maintain the lifestyle that I have now than try to improve upon it. By jumping back into the wrestling business. So it has nothing to do with all you trolls out there as to whether or not I was offered a job or want a job; that is not the case.”
On his fear for AEW: “My perspective on it has been from someone who has been there. I took over a company that wasn’t a new company. That’s an advantage. A new company is an advantage because you don’t have any negative baggage. WCW was trashed. The brand was trashed when I took it over, and I rebuilt it, and I went from there. A $25 million a year gross revenue company that was losing $10 million a year. Within a matter of three years, I think of when I actually had control of the company, we were doing over $350 million a year in revenue and spinning off close to $50 million in profit, depending on whose books you wanted to believe. So I’ve been there, and I’ve had that massive success, an unheard-of amount of success. Unprecedented in every way, especially in Turner and in wrestling. But then I also. Got to ride that horse into the mud and watch it die. So I’ve got a unique perspective, and that’s always been my reaction to what I was seeing. And I’ve readily admitted many times that I know I come off as harsh. I know I come off as aggressive, which is probably a good way to say it when I’m critiquing or giving my opinion about certain things, but that’s only because I hate to see opportunities wasted. And in a way, and this is going to be considered by the trolls out there, you trolls. This is going to be considered to be negative. And, but it’s not meant to be. It’s just honest. And right now, Tony Khan, because he’s in such a unique situation, he has his own money. He’s got more money than he can spend in his next three lifetimes, and he’s a massive wrestling fan. So, he has this unique opportunity to launch this company called the AEW with his own money, which means he’s not accountable to anybody except for the network. And I know we keep reading. Oh, the networks are happy. David, they mentioned his name. Like they talk to him all the time, and maybe they do. I doubt it, but I could be wrong about that. David Zaslav is happy, and everybody’s happy. But we’ve seen the attendance. We know where that’s going. We know where the ratings are, where they’ve been, and where they’re going. And if not that, I certainly don’t want this to happen. My frustration is that I’m afraid that it will. But if, for whatever reason, it isn’t renewed and isn’t able to find another television home. Do you know how long it’s going to be before another wrestling company gets a shot? I don’t care if you’ve got $300 million you’re willing to spend. Nobody’s going to touch it if it isn’t successful. As a television property, it will be decades before another wrestling company emerges as a result of a failure if it fails. Conversely, if it’s successful, who knows what can happen? You may. You may see a third company or a fourth emerge. Not that. And I don’t want to discount what’s going on over at the newly rebranded TNA or with Billy.”
On Khan’s announcement coming across as a ratings ploy: “I’m going to go back to some of the stuff that I’ve talked about for the last couple of years. Once the audience. Decide. They don’t love you anymore, and they leave and come back.”
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In a recent episode of his podcast “Strictly Business,” WWE Hall of Famer Eric Bischoff shared his criticism of All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and its lack of storytelling. He also discussed Tony Khan’s recent announcement and expressed his concerns for the future of the company.
Bischoff began by addressing the reaction he has received from fans regarding his opinions on AEW. He mentioned that he tries to be constructive and kind in his responses, as he doesn’t want to constantly bash the company. However, he emphasized that there is nothing new to say about AEW’s storytelling, as it has been an ongoing issue for the past two years.
The former WCW president explained that he has no interest in working for AEW because he doesn’t want the burden of being involved in the wrestling business again. He believes that to do the job well, one must be fully committed and dedicated 24/7. At this stage of his life, Bischoff prefers to focus on other interests and maintain his current lifestyle.
Bischoff then shared his unique perspective on AEW, drawing from his experience of taking over WCW when it was in a negative state and successfully rebuilding it. He acknowledged AEW’s advantage as a new company without any negative baggage. However, he expressed his fear for the company’s future, considering its declining attendance and ratings. He emphasized that if AEW fails to find another television home, it could be decades before another wrestling company gets a shot at success.
Regarding Tony Khan’s recent announcement, Bischoff suggested that it may come across as a ratings ploy. He mentioned that once the audience decides they no longer love a product and leave, it can be challenging to regain their support.
While Bischoff’s comments may be seen as negative by some, he clarified that he is simply being honest and doesn’t want to see opportunities wasted. He acknowledged Khan’s unique situation of having his own money and being a massive wrestling fan, which presents an opportunity for AEW to succeed. However, he also highlighted the potential consequences if the company fails.
In conclusion, Eric Bischoff’s recent podcast episode shed light on his criticisms of AEW’s storytelling, his concerns for the company’s future, and his perspective on Tony Khan’s announcement. Whether one agrees or disagrees with his opinions, it is clear that Bischoff’s experience in the wrestling industry adds weight to his analysis.