During the latest episode of the 83 Weeks Podcast, Eric Bischoff discussed his appearance on AEW Dynamite this past Wednesday as the guest moderator for the AEW Super Wednesday debate between Orange Cassidy and Chris Jericho. Bischoff talked about his experience backstage at AEW and how excited he was to see how much fun the roster had. He noted that he saw tons of positive energy and excitement.
“When I went backstage at AEW, the first thing I noticed is wow, these guys are actually having fun trying to figure these things out,” Bischoff said. “These guys are actually having fun trying to lay a match out in a way that not only entertains the audience but advances the story. You could tell, I could hear some of the conversations as I was walking by, these guys are working hard to get each other over, they’re not just working hard to get themselves over which you have to do.
“When you get to that point, and you’re coming at it with a frame of mind of how can I make my opponent look better than me and your opponent is looking to do the same thing, that’s when the magic happens. I can’t say enough good things about the talent, the energy backstage, the hospitality, the professionalism, it was really a great experience for me.”
Bischoff also talked about the possibility of this being his last experience in front of a camera. He said if that’s the case, he’s happy he got to see such a fresh and hungry talented locker room during his last time.
“If I never step in front of a camera again, if I never go backstage again anywhere, it would be okay to me,” Bischoff admitted. “I’m really glad that my last experience in a backstage environment watching a bunch of young talent, fresh talent and hungry talent that believe they can make a difference, that energy is something I walked away with. If that’s the last experience I have, it will be a great one.”
When AEW first became a company in late 2019 and signed a television deal with TNT, the comparisons to WCW started immediately. Bischoff, being the President of WCW during their peak, talked about the comparisons to WCW. Bischoff said the locker room reminded him of WCW from 1994-1997.
“It was the same sense I got when I was backstage at AEW,” Bischoff said. “That energy, believing they could, knowing that they got the right team in place. That breeds a lot of positivity and positivity breeds more positivity and all that energy creates a good entertaining product. You’re coming at it with a different perspective, you’re having fun, working hard but you’re getting an opportunity to be creative and show what you got.”
Bischoff noted that there was not a writers room in AEW. He also talked about Tony Khan and his experience of seeing what he does during the show.
“That was really interesting,” Bischoff said. “While I was standing backstage getting ready for the segment, I was within earshot of Tony when he was at the Gorilla position on monitors and couldn’t help but hear him talk to somebody in the truck. Tony is into this. Tony is not just the guy with the cheque book that’s a big fan, Tony is the guy with the cheque book who’s a big fan who’s also a good producer and more importantly loves producing, therein lies the magic.
“He’s obviously a very intelligent and experienced business man, but when you have passion and you like producing and you’re willing to grab it by the balls as opposed to putting someone in that position and hoping they are going to do the work you want them to do. What he lacks in experience, he more than makes up for in passion, intelligence and enjoyment of what he’s doing and taking control over it. He has a lot more control of it than what I assumed.”
Bischoff noted how AEW doesn’t use the same process as WWE in storytelling and creative conversation. He mentioned how AEW seems like they’ve gone back in time and taken the creative approach that companies with success in the past have used.
“The process for professional wrestling has evolved to the point where everything has been so scripted,” Bischoff said. “Now that AEW is approaching it differently, it’s a collaboration. I’m guessing they fill in a lot of the detail and the colors in a collaborative way the day of the show, that was my impression. That’s going back to the future, that’s the way it used to be when it was good, when talent had a lot of input into their promos and characters. That’s the collaboration that in my opinion, made wrestling so much fun to watch.”
For those hoping to see more of Bischoff on AEW Dynamite in the future, his appearance was said to be a one-off and he has not signed a contract with the company.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 Weeks with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.