It was just a few weeks ago that Eric Bischoff was a WWE employee as SmackDown's Executive Director. There he got to see first-hand how Vince McMahon and other WWE officials reacted to AEW's TNT launch as it went head-to-head against NXT.
"Vince asked me actually, a couple of days after the first episode aired, what I thought. I was pretty honest with him. I thought the action was good but I thought what made that show really stand out to me was just how engaged the audience is," stated Bischoff.
Many of have said that the presentation of AEW from it's lighting to its arena size to its fan engagement sets it apart from NXT and Bischoff echoed those sentiments.
"The audience, to me, made their show so much better than the NXT show. Not that there's anything wrong with the NXT show. The action in the ring was great. The characters are great. There are a lot of great things about it," said Bischoff. "But when you put a live event inside of a small, confined studio kind of like TNA, I don't care how great the action is in the ring. It just doesn't have that big event feel to it."
Word on NXT lacking a big event feel has apparently gotten back to WWE as it was recently reported that NXT could be moving to bigger arenas like what AEW runs in. The plan is to have NXT run outside of Full Sail by early 2020.
While Bischoff is a fan of the AEW television product, he noted that he has not spoken to anyone in the company regarding working there.
"I have not spoken with anybody from AEW," Bischoff admitted. "Not one conversation. The last conversation I had with anybody that's currently in AEW was probably Cody Rhodes, and that was about two years ago. It was right after he left WWE and I called him, just to congratulate him and let him know how much I respected his decision."