During the latest episode of the 83 Weeks Podcast, Eric Bischoff talked about this past week’s AEW Dynamite, and how Tony Khan continuously hyped up a major surprise on Twitter that would “shift the balance of power in wrestling”. This surprise turned out to be the return of PAC after an 8 month absence to interrupt the main event and set up a feud between him and Eddie Kingston. Bischoff commented on Khan’s post about this surprise, saying he should stop setting expectations and focus more on making a surprise seem organic.
“Don’t set your expectations so high for surprises!” Bischoff said. “Because even if you deliver, people are let down. And oh my god, if you fail to deliver even just a little bit, it goes the other way on you. If you have a surprise, just let it be a f***ing surprise! Don’t promote the surprise! Don’t raise the expectations to the surprise – just let it be a frickin’ surprise, will you!”
Bischoff continued on to mention how Khan messed this one up, saying not promoting it at all was the way to go. He said that the AEW owner needs to realize that hyping up a surprise kills the value of it all together and makes the viewers expectations go through the roof, and they’re rarely ever possible to be met.
“Yes, Tony, for crying out loud, you’re doing everything else right,” Bischoff continued to say. “Come on, come on. Don’t make such a big deal out of a surprise that even when you reveal the surprise, it doesn’t matter anymore.
“And conversely, yes, if you under-promote, if you don’t create so much build up and just deliver the surprise, even if it’s not quite as big of a surprise as you’d like to have, it will mean more anyway. It’s added value – its bonus you didn’t promote it. You’re just over-delivering on something that no one expected. That’s what a surprise is supposed to do!”
Bischoff continued to talk about his disdain for backstage interviews today in wrestling. He said that any interview or promo that isn’t being used to set up the story of a feud is just used as a check in the box of what needs to happen rather than what should happen to enhance the characters and the story.
“So often we see interviews in-ring, backstage, that are just not necessary,” Bischoff mentioned. “They’re being done because we feel like we have to do them and we need to check the box before a story unfolds. Unless the quality of that content moves the story forward, it’s just a waste of time.
“By being a waste of time and not advancing the story, you’re actually hurting the character. You’re putting the character in a situation where the audience wants to be entertained – that’s why they came – and now you’re giving them something that isn’t really satisfying. That hurts the character involved in the scene.”
Bischoff also talked about the lack of managers in wrestling compared to the prime years of pro-wrestling. Particularly in WWE, Bischoff believes the reason is because the wrestling talent just do a better job of promoting themselves, and there just isn’t anyone on the level of a Paul Heyman.
“Because you don’t have anybody that can talk,” Bischoff said. “When you have great talent – the Jerichos, the MJFs, the Randy Ortons – people that can really cut a promo, there’s not a lot of talent that aren’t wrestlers that have that ability. The only reason to have a manager is to speak for you if you’re just not that good on a mic, Brock Lesnar, or enhance and create heat for you.”
On the podcast, Bischoff also mentioned how much he disliked Lex Luger during the early 1990s. Although Bischoff said his opinion of Luger changed over the years, during this time, he said Luger was arrogant and hard to work with because he used his leverage to help him.
“I never really liked Lex before he left and went to WWF,” Bischoff mentioned. “I didn’t enjoy working with him because Lex came off as arrogant. He’s just not that social of a guy. To me though, I just thought he was arrogant. He treated me like I was a pain in the ass.
“From what I’ve learned from others, Lex had leverage. Lex believed he was the s–t. He had some support that allowed him to get away with things he probably couldn’t get away with if he’d been anybody else. I understand why Lex had the reputation he did.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 Weeks with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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