During the latest edition of his “83 Weeks” podcast, Eric Bischoff commented on the debut of AEW Rampage this Friday night, Ric Flair’s departure from WWE, and more. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On the upcoming debut of AEW Rampage and WWE handing AEW a golden opportunity due to its ongoing releases: “I think Tony Khan and company are hitting on all eight cylinders. I talked about this a little bit recently that it’s such an unusual time for WWE to not just be releasing talent in general, but top talent. Big equity. At a time when CM Punk is being dangled like a golden carrot – I think they’re doing a great job with it. AEW has done such a phenomenal job of building up anticipation not only for CM Punk, but on the heels of Punk, possibly you’ve got Daniel Bryan following up in New York. How does that relate to this third hour on Friday night? I think AEW is in a phenomenal position, due in at least some part due to to the release of Bray Wyatt, the timing is just mind-boggling to me. There are things going on behind the scenes at WWE, AEW, and everywhere else that as fans or even in our case, we have relationships with people in those organizations at the highest levels – there are so many things going on behind the scenes that we don’t see or understand. We see what we see on television and see what we read or listen to on social media. There’s just a lot of stuff going on.
“I’m really excited about the business-to-business side of wrestling and not in any small part due to the fact that WWE is releasing talent of the highest caliber at a time when AEW is starting to create some serious momentum. The indications are clear that AEW is building serious momentum, and now, you’ve got a third hour on Friday night following WWE programming with the potential of some of these high-quality former WWE talents making that transition…..there are risks with creating an additional hour, particularly on a major cable network. You can dilute your talent pool, you can create a sitatuin where your must-see programming becomes not quite as must-see because you can pick it up on Friday night, or a version thereof. That’s a risk. The upside? They’re making more money. So you’ve got to balance that. Now with at least the potential of some of these key players coming over from WWE to AEW, you talk about a way to draft that WWE audience. They’re in such a great position. They’re gonna have to deliver….right now, I don’t want to say what AEW is doing is flawless, but it’s about as close to it as you can get. And they’re getting a huge assist from WWE for whatever reasons known or unknown to all of us. WWE is handing Rampage a golden opportunity.”
On Ric Flair’s WWE release: “Yes, I am most definitely shocked. I’m excited for Ric. Ric’s had more opportunities sitting in front of him now than he probably did 20 years ago, outside of wrestling. I’m excited for and love Ric. We’ve gotten very close over the last few years and happy for him. But just like we talked about, shocked that something like this could happen at this particular period in time. Shocked.”
(h/t – 411 Wrestling)