On the latest episode of the 83 Weeks Podcast, Former WCW President Eric Bischoff talked about AEW signing former WWE talent.
Bischoff recently said that he felt that WWE isn’t concerned about AEW back in June after the company released Braun Strowman and several others. Bischoff went in-depth on why he believes the company bringing in too many ex-WWE talent could dilute some of their homegrown talent.
“This is not a criticism, this an observation,” Bischoff said. “In the last couple months, you’ve got Mark Henry, Christian Cage, Andrade, Big Show. You’ve got all this incredibly valuable talent each in their own way, Sting. Are they as valuable, the influx of all that top talent, is Sting as valuable as a commodity as he would’ve been had there been more focus on Sting? In case [Daniel] Bryan and CM Punk both go to AEW as we’re reading about, that’s an amazingly cool great thing. To have them both come in at the same time, I think they each dilute each other. Here’s the risk, what’s going to happen to a lot of that younger, home grown talent that AEW started out with that people were so excited about? What was the excitement when AEW became a thing? We’re going to be an alternative to WWE. I still hear that by the way, that’s a great goal, be different than. I like it, but then when you start bringing in so many valuable top talents [from WWE], what happens to your core?”
“There’s only so much television time folks, there’s only so many minutes in an hour. Even if [CM Punk and Daniel] don’t [end up in AEW], there’s still a lot of ex-WWE talent that are very valuable that are going to be taking up TV time from other younger less experienced talent and that’s where the rift starts. When you bring in all of that top talent that has had so much television time on the biggest platform in the world, they’ve obviously got a big fan base. All of a sudden that young aspirational group of talent that’s coming up that people were so excited about, they’re not going to get the focus because there’s only so much television time. This is not going to happen tomorrow or next week or next month but a lot of that talent that people were so excited about that differentiated AEW from WWE and delivered on the promise of being an alternative all of a sudden doesn’t feel like an alternative anymore.”
Bischoff continued to talk about the aspects of AEW that he likes more than WWE, namely the way the company treats their legends like Sting. The former WCW boss also mentioned that he believes the reason Big Show ultimately left WWE was due to the way he was treated on his way out.
“I think that Tony Khan and AEW and the team have done a fantastic job with Sting,” Bischoff said. “Sting wasn’t an example of what I would be concerned about, Sting is only going to add value and create awareness for guys like Darby Allin and others and bring that credibility. The way that AEW is using legends, I think is a much better way than WWE uses legends. WWE uses legends to embarrass with an exception of a couple like Undertaker and a handful of others. Everybody else is kind of like you’re there to be humiliated, degraded in a way. That’s one of the reasons I think Big Show left WWE.
“The difference between AEW and the way they use legends and WWE is night and day and I’m very grateful to AEW for the way they use legends. Not only because some of them I know and I’ve had the opportunity to be on the show and they’ve always treated me well on TV, but people don’t realize that guys like Sting and Big Show, they bring that 18-49 year old demo in. As they make room for the Andrade’s of the world and the Christians of the world and whoever else comes in from WWE, by default there are people that are not going to get that primetime. There will be on YouTube [for AEW Dark] and that has value, but it’s not the same. You’re not building a career on YouTube, you’re building a career on television.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 Weeks with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.