Former WCW Executive Vice President Eric Bischoff during the 1990s as Monday Nitro defeated WWE Raw for 83 straight weeks in the ratings during the Monday Night Wars.
Bischoff recently discussed how getting the audience to switch to something different was a lot easier than getting lost fans to come back on his 83 Weeks podcast
“The audience votes with their remote,” said Bischoff. “Once they vote against you, it is really hard to get them back. Once you have lost the audience’s confidence and they no longer believe you are going to entertain them and they make the choice to go somewhere else, it’s harder to get them back then it was getting them the first time.”
During the Monday Night Wars, WCW Monday Nitro took a more realistic approach to their programming. It was new, it was different and it was fresh. Ultimately the fans of professional wrestling had to make a choice as to which show they were going to watch.
“With Nitro, some of it was good luck, some of it was great ideas, some of it was great talent, but a lot of it was timing,” said Bischoff. “Doing something different that had never been done before, reinventing the way wrestling was presented to the audience.”
AEW President Tony Khan has stated that AEW is learning “what not to do” from WCW, saying that the company was horribly mismanaged. Bischoff said that no matter what Khan claims, WCW Monday Nitro‘s footprint can still be seen on AEW Dynamite.
“Nitro changed the industry and we are seeing the benefits to this very day, they’ve stuck,” said Bischoff. “WWE followed suit. Tony Khan can say whatever he wants about WCW, but my God if they are not trying to follow the formula that made Nitro successful, I don’t know what else they are doing.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 Weeks with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.