Eric Bischoff spoke on his podcast 83 Weeks about the current “wrestling war” between AEW and WWE. AEW announced last week that they would return to hosting live events with crowds in July. WWE is expected to start touring again in July as well, although an official announcement has not been made.
Bischoff spoke about news that AEW will be doing live events ahead of WWE and gave his opinion on what Vince McMahon’s mindset is towards that decision.
“I don’t think Vince cares,” Bischoff admitted. “I know wrestling fans like to think that there’s this battle between AEW and WWE. I’m not in WWE offices, so I’m going to suggest based on my experience and the relationships that I have with people that are in WWE, the very fact that I made an appearance on AEW a month before they inducted me into the Hall of Fame suggests to me that they really don’t care. Are they aware? Sure. Is Vince McMahon walking around kicking people in the ass saying ‘God dammit, how did they beat us to the punch?’
“I know people like to think that’s the case because deep down inside they want another wrestling war, but it isn’t. It’s just not no matter how much people want to pretend it is. It’s cosplay folks. WWE is on a different planet than AEW right now. That’s because AEW is about 24 months old or so, WWE has been around for decades and decades and decades. A lot of catching up to do folks, there is no war. There is no angst or anxiety from WWE in my opinion when it comes to AEW.”
Bischoff also discussed how pro wrestling has changed since the Monday Night Wars. He noted that WWE and AEW rely on their television deals, which has forced them to choose quantity over quality.
“WWE, AEW are very dependent on the revenue that’s coming from television,” Bischoff said. “Because they’re reliant on it, they’re increasing the amount of content. More content equals more money. There’s a reason why the FOX show on Friday night isn’t a one hour show because you can get more money for a two hour show. You need that revenue but once you increase the volume but you don’t improve the process and fine tune the formula, you’re just cramming stuff in there. You’re constantly on a treadmill. You look at WWE, when it used to be a one hour show, then because of [WCW] Nitro it became a two hour show, now it’s a three hour show.
“They’ve increased the speed but they haven’t gotten in shape, they haven’t conditioned themselves to produce the same level of quality that they were producing with a one hour show or even two hour show. They haven’t conditioned themselves, developed a process or formula, that gives them a better opportunity to be successful with the stories that they’re doing. Being more dependent on television requires that you produce more content, but producing more content requires that you also evolve that other part of your business. You can’t use the same gut feeling, ‘I don’t know, this feels good to me,’ that works, when you’re producing ‘x’ amount of content. But when you’re producing ‘5x’, that doesn’t work anymore and that’s what hasn’t changed.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 Weeks with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.