Former WWE Executive Receives High Praise from Eric Bischoff for Joining AEW

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During the latest installment of his “Strictly Business” podcast, Eric Bischoff talked about AEW hiring former WWE creative team member Jennifer Pepperman for creative. Here are the highlights: 

On his brief period working with Jen Pepperman in WWE:

“Well I worked, I shouldn’t say I worked — I didn’t work closely with Jennifer when I was in WWE back in 2019. She was not a part of my team, although that didn’t really mean much because nobody really knew who was on which writing staff, there was so much discussion and transition. But I got to know Jennifer and really, really liked her. I respect her work, she’s got a tremendous background. She understands storytelling, she’s tough. She’s a very sweet person, easy to get along with, she’s got a great personality and she’s very outgoing. But, she’s also tough. She’s not gonna be intimidated. I’ve watched her interact with Vince, and Vince can be very, very intimidating. I watched her stand up to Vince, I watched her react to pressure that a lot of creative people that I’ve worked with in the past would’ve probably taken pretty hard. She digs in and does the work.”

The importance of the hire: 

“This is the most exciting thing I’ve heard out of AEW in the last three years, maybe longer. It indicates a couple things to me. One is, Tony recognizes he has a problem. You can’t fix a problem or come up with a solution if you don’t recognize what’s wrong with it first and the fact that Tony is bringing in [people] at a high level, suggests to me — and part of this is wishful thinking on my part but I do hope I’m right — that Tony is recognizing that his creative, his fantasy wrestling matches and dream match nonsense and creating wrestling that appeals to the internet, it’s not working. I’ve been banging on that drum for over two years now, I’ve gotten a lot of hate from it. The fact that Tony recognizes that he has a problem, recognizes that he needs to bring somebody in, as I’ve been saying for years now, you need somebody that understands a disciplined storytelling structure. Not only a beginning, middle, and end, but understanding the plot points along that arc that need to happen, it’s almost like a checklist. They need to happen over the course of an arc in order to have any chance of building or retaining an audience, and that’s what Tony has had a hard time doing, building and retaining an audience. He’s gone from a premiere of 1.4M viewers down to averaging around 800 thousand, that’s a problem, especially when the overall audience for wrestling is growing because of WWE and their success. So I think the fact that Tony recognizes, hopefully, and brought somebody in who absolutely has the tools and the experience, and I believe the personality — Jen brings all of that to the table.”

In the world of professional wrestling, storytelling is a crucial element that can make or break a promotion. And in recent years, All Elite Wrestling (AEW) has been facing some challenges in this department. However, there is hope on the horizon as AEW has made a significant hire that could potentially turn things around.

Jennifer Pepperman, a former member of the WWE creative team, has joined AEW’s creative department. This news has garnered a lot of attention and excitement within the wrestling community, including from industry veteran Eric Bischoff. On his “Strictly Business” podcast, Bischoff expressed his admiration for Pepperman and the impact he believes she can have on AEW.

Bischoff briefly worked with Pepperman during his time at WWE in 2019. Although they were not part of the same team, Bischoff had the opportunity to observe Pepperman’s work closely. He praised her understanding of storytelling and her ability to handle pressure, even in challenging situations with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.

One of the key takeaways from Bischoff’s comments is the recognition that AEW has a problem with its creative direction. He commends AEW owner Tony Khan for acknowledging this issue and taking steps to address it. Bischoff believes that bringing in someone like Pepperman, who has a strong background in disciplined storytelling, is a positive sign for AEW’s future.

Bischoff emphasizes the importance of having a structured storytelling approach in professional wrestling. He argues that simply relying on fantasy matches and appealing to internet fans is not enough to build and retain an audience. Instead, a well-crafted narrative with plot points and character development is necessary to engage viewers and keep them invested in the product.

AEW has experienced a decline in viewership over the past few years, going from an impressive premiere of 1.4 million viewers to averaging around 800 thousand. This decline is concerning, especially when considering the overall growth of the wrestling audience due to the success of WWE. Bischoff believes that Pepperman’s hiring is a step in the right direction to address this issue and help AEW regain its momentum.

In conclusion, the addition of Jennifer Pepperman to AEW’s creative team has generated excitement and optimism within the wrestling community. With her background in disciplined storytelling and her ability to handle pressure, Pepperman brings valuable skills and experience to the table. This hire reflects AEW’s recognition of its creative shortcomings and its commitment to improving its product. Only time will tell how Pepperman’s influence will shape AEW’s future, but for now, fans and industry insiders are hopeful for positive changes in the promotion’s storytelling approach.