Eric Bischoff Blasts Tony Khan For 'Booking Like A 14-Year-Old'

It's safe to assume that Tony Khan and Eric Bischoff won't be exchanging Christmas presents this year.

They've been trading barbs for the better part of the year — some of the highlights include Khan implying that Bischoff failed as a wrestling promoter with WCW, Bischoff outright declaring CM Punk's AEW return a financial bust, and Bischoff giving Khan his old "ATM Eric" nickname for splurging money on wrestlers.


In a recent interview with the "SHAK Wrestling" podcast, Bischoff was it at again, this time suggesting that Khan doesn't have "a creative instinct in his body" and doesn't understand the importance of story structure in pro wrestling.

"AEW is a super meaningful alternative [to WWE]," Bischoff admitted. "But the point is, Tony Khan refers to WWE as competition. Tony, wake the F up — you are not competition. You have not taken any market share, your audience is not growing on television, and there is not even a comparison in terms of a financial perspective — in terms of revenue generation. So, exactly how are you competitive? If you're not taking market share, and you're not even in the same conversation from a revenue standpoint — that's the beginning and end of the competition conversation. You're either taking market share or you're not, or you're either equal to or close in on the competitor's revenue, and they're not. They're not even close."


Bischoff continued, "If Tony Khan is smart, and I know he's very, very smart, a lot smarter than me in a lot of ways. I don't exactly think he's got a creative instinct in his body. I think what he's doing is reliving a childhood memory, you know of ECW and the indie scene, and super matches. He's booking, in my opinion, like a 14-year-old would – who would have a lot of toys and things he can play with. But I'm not seeing story – we've seen the wrestling audience or AEW audience call it a story but it's not. It's an excuse for having a super match or dream match."

Bischoff then implored Khan to stop catering to the niche, internet fans, and instead focus on attracting casual audiences.

"If Tony Khan is really smart, and if his goal is to really compete [with WWE], he needs to look at what's working in WWE in terms of the storytelling and format perspective," Bischoff stressed. "He's going to wake up one day and realize that being a dirt sheet booker and catering to the internet wrestling community is a wonderful thing, because your name is on the internet all the time, but it's [AEW] not going to grow beyond the point that it currently exists. Because you're only serving a small portion of the audience, you're not reaching out to the broader audience. Not everyone breathes, sleeps, and eats wrestling, you know? The internet audience does, but there's a more, I don't want to say passive, but a less-committed viewing audience out there that's really important."


Bischoff, who briefly served as Executive Director of "SmackDown" from June to October 2019, was asked if there's a possibility of his return to WWE under the new regime of Triple H.

"No — because there's no need for me," Bischoff responded. "What I have to contribute at this point is stuff we're beginning to see on [WWE] television. Maybe this is just me being hyper-optimistic, but the last 10 years of wrestling has bored the F out of me. I want to be excited about it, I want to be interested, but it's just bored me to death for such a long time. I had a bit of hope with AEW up until 6 or 8 months ago when I threw in the towel, as I started seeing the same pattern of [booking]. I've been pretty critical of WWE as well, but now I'm seeing that [changes are coming], maybe I'm just getting an indication that something big is coming.

"And if I'm proven right, then what the hell would I have to contribute? They don't need me. They already have the discipline, story structure, commitment to format, and episodic television — which is what I was known for more than anyone else in the business. And if they've figured that out in WWE, why do they need to spend a plane ticket on me?"

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