During a recent episode of his “83 Weeks” podcast, Eric Bischoff commented on CM Punk making his AEW debut, AEW being legitimate competition for WWE, and more. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
Eric Bischoff on AEW proving to be legitimate competition for WWE: “AEW has the momentum in their corner. If they keep doing what they’re doing, I think AEW is well on its way to being legitimate competition for WWE. I didn’t really think I’d ever hear myself say that. And they’ve got a long way to go, let’s keep things in context. If you look at WWE’s business footprint – where they are, who they are, what they are – it’s hard to realistically, objectively say AEW is competition right now in the sense of revenue, distribution, and all of that. But domestically, here in the US, which is really the most important thing for both companies…..AEW has a long way to go before they can close that international distribution gap, but that’s just a matter of time. And the interesting thing about where AEW is at now – domestically here, the buzz is so high that AEW is going to be able to close that gap, and I’m just giving you my gut instinct from a fan sitting on the sidelines watching.
“Based on what I know and my experience, if AEW continues the success they’re having and build upon the momentum they have currently, they’re gonna be able to close that international distribution gap relatively quickly. Once that happens, they become legitimate competition – not just competition in the United States in the hearts and minds of the wrestling audience, but I’m talking about from a revenue comparison. AEW, right now, is about half of the viewing audience of WWE here in the United States. But as I experienced as fans and viewers back in the 90s, it’s possible to close that gap. I didn’t expect to hear myself say that, at least not this soon. But AEW is on the verge of doing some really big things a lot faster than I thought they would. Kudos to Tony Khan and the entire team. They’re living 1995 and 1996 – they get to experience that incredible high that comes with the momentum that they’re experiencing now.”
On CM Punk’s AEW debut: “I’m not jealous of them, but it doesn’t mean I don’t envy them and that’s there’s not a part of me that’s going, ‘Man, it would feel so good to feel that rush and have been in the venue when Punk came out and to experience that live lop in person.’ The energy you feel in that building is completely different than the energy we feel as viewers when you’re there and in that moment. I have to imagine that Tony [Schiavone] was flashing back to Bash at the Beach 1996 or any of the other big moments when the roof came off the building and that energy was so palpable that you could almost taste it. I do envy everybody who gets to experience that, and for the younger talent that has never experienced that before. It’s just the best feeling in the world.”
(h/t – 411 Wrestling)