Eric Bischoff Discusses AEW's Declining Fan Support

If there's one former wrestling executive who understands having a once-lauded product's appeal wane with fans, it's Eric Bischoff. The former WCW President is worried about AEW's viability as the company enters its fifth year of operation, and he recently explained why on "83 Weeks."


"Creating momentum, as hard as it is, is much easier than maintaining momentum," Bischoff said, using WCW's loss of momentum in 1999 as an example. "Getting [momentum] back is five times more difficult because the audience has already made up its mind."

Bischoff believes AEW has the same issue in 2024, as he holds to the adage that an audience's mind is made up once they've tuned out from a product.

"They had great momentum when they launched," Bischoff said, noting that WWE was stuck in something of a creative rut when AEW formed in 2019. "[WWE was] like a cookie-cutter ... all the cookies look the same, taste the same, smell the same."

At the time, Bischoff was excited by the "alternative" that AEW represented, but he says that's vanished.


"If you go to Wrestling Inc. and you look at the [Ratings Report], just look at the comments," he said. "You look at those comments and you compare them with the comments from 2019 or 2020, goodwill is gone."

AEW currently has the added ratings obstacle of the NBA Playoffs, which have kept the ratings for "AEW Dynamite" hovering around 700,000 per show, down from 780,000 in several previous weeks, and also forced changes to the "Collision" and "Rampage" schedules. The NBA Finals are set to end in late June.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "83 Weeks" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.