Bischoff is funny (Photo: Get images)
WCW legend Eric Bischoff was in the trenches during the infamous Monday Night Wars – but he doesn’t think the same about AEW and NXT.
Sportmaster has a decade of experience in this field and has even seen its promotion beat the WWE in their ratings battle 83 weeks in a row, and it’s probably not surprising that nostalgic fans got nostalgic when the modern equivalent arrived.
However, given that WWE’s NXT and AEW Dynamite don’t have a million viewers a week – the former is essentially a growing brand – Bischoff thinks otherwise.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk, he laughed exclusively: I’m laughing at myself. I understand why they make that comparison, but it’s not the same thing at all.
He suggested that the Wednesday Night Wars were set up by the wrestling media and podcasters and are not a legitimate rivalry.
If AEW had opposed Monday Night Raw, I would have thought differently. Now it’s like real archery, he admitted. But AEW on Wednesday night, NXT on Wednesday night? It’s not a contest for me.
Writers of blacklists and people who like to report on ratings would like to see it that way, but I don’t think the public necessarily sees it that way.
Bischoff is well placed to comment on the modern wrestling landscape, having worked behind the scenes at WWE on the SmackDown brand in 2019, as well as for AEW last year and having a past history with IMPACT Wrestling, albeit during the TNA eights.
The last two promotions have shown a real willingness to work together. Since Eric spoke with us, New Japan Pro Wrestling has been working on it.
Nevertheless, even as the relationship between the companies took shape, he looked forward to seeing where it would lead.
I guess time will tell, he says. I think in theory, of course, when two companies work together, you have twice the talent to develop stories.
Good Brothers, Kenny Omega and Young Bucks made the most of the situation (Photo: AEW).
You have a lot more creative options, you have the marketing perspective to oppose it – those are all good things to have.
He also felt that this initiative could benefit both brands, even though AEW has a larger audience.
In theory, both companies could certainly benefit. Especially IMPACT, because IMPACT is more important than ever, he noted.
AEW could certainly win because, again, there are more talented and interesting offers when two companies work together – or against each other, as the case may be.
Bischoff was quick to dismiss the idea that the WWE would not be interested in such a partnership, pointing to contracts with brands like PROGRESS Wrestling, wXw and Evolve, as well as superstars like Daniel Bryan, Cesaro and Seth Rollins from the independent scene.
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WWE is interested in independent wrestling territories, he said, while the CEO of Triple H said the company is open for business.
Eric added: There is a lot of independent wrestling content on their network, and in some cases their talent comes from the independent scene around the world.
WWE is really interested in the opportunities that are emerging in the independent wrestling world, and if they can do something that benefits both the independent promoter and the talent in that promotion, and WWE wins in some way – then yes, absolutely, it will work.
* Listen to Eric Bischoff’s 83 Weeks podcast on AdFreeShows.com.
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