Since leaving TNA/Impact in late 2013, Eric Bischoff hasn't been affiliated with any wrestling promotion. He does, however, have a highly successful podcast called 83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff, and on his latest episode he discussed the possibility of returning to wrestling when asked if he would accept a position with AEW if offered.
"That is such a hard question to answer. Obviously, any opportunity in a business that I have been involved in for the past 30 years would definitely pique my interest. So much of it depends on what I don't know. What are AEW's goals? What is their strategy? What are their plans? What are their 5-year business plans? I have learned the hard way that if you really don't have a plan that has been well vetted and really thought through the chances of being successful are minimal. I really don't want to be involved with something that is really not well planned," said Bischoff.
WCW had a great content plan in the mid-90s with the NWO which led to their rise and the Monday Night Wars. But their business plan on giving out guaranteed contracts played a part in their downfall and Bischoff would need to see AEW's long-term plans in order to commit himself to the company.
"With that being said, if it was well planned and there were a great strategy and a great business plan that made sense that I can relate to or identify with then of course," stated Bischoff. "Look, I may be 64 years old and may have been in the business for 30+ years but there is a part of me that is passionate about the business. I love the creative side. I love the strategy of building things from scratch so that is very appealing to me, but I really wouldn't want to get involved with something; whether it's AEW or something else. If it is not well-funded or if there's not a really smart business plan, the chances of it of being successful 5-10 years from now is really minimal. I really would have a hard time getting excited about something that wasn't thought through and there wasn't a solid plan. The flip side of that, if there was, oh hell yeah."
When asked if he could give any advice to AEW with their TNT deal, Bischoff said he would have to know more about the promotion's strategic planning before handing out advice.
"I don't know what AEW's goals are. I have no idea. I have no idea what the AEW business plan is. I have no idea what their risk tolerance is. I have no idea what their Plan B is. I am just like everybody else watching, reading and seeing it. I refuse to try and sound like I am smart enough to give advice to an organization I know nothing about. I just don't," admitted Bischoff.
"In a macro kind of way, be as different as you can possibly be. It worked for me. It was my self-mandate when I started Nitro; don't try to be better than the competition, try to be different. Hopefully being different is enough to want to have people check you out, and I would stick with that."
Bischoff then brought up the reports that TNT is going to cover the costs of production for the show and stated that is a huge benefit for AEW.
"I only know what I read; if what I read is true and the AEW/TNT deal is that TNT is going to cover the cost of production; which to me says that TNT is going to actually produce it with their equipment, their crews, because that'll make sense and it will also minimize the expense compared to a third-party production company. I am assuming that TNT is going to actually provide the physical production of the show and they are going to split on some percentage basis, let's say 50/50 and they'll split the advertising revenue," said Bischoff.
"Here is what I do know, this isn't something that I feel slightly intimidated about saying: selling advertising in pro wrestling is extremely difficult because pro wrestling is not a drama, but it is. It is not a sitcom, but it is. It is not a sport, but it is. It is its own weird kind of duck. It is really hard to get big advertisers, some mainstream advertisers, the ones that spend 80 percent of revenue in the ad market, it is hard to get them comfortable with professional wrestling simply because they can't define it."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.