After being granted his release from WWE last month, rumors of Ric Flair heading to AEW ran wild due to Flair stating he and the company didn’t see eye-to-eye on certain business opportunities for him. Since then, Flair has made appearances in AAA, NWA, and also, on the latest episode of “Being the Elite”. However, he has yet to actually appear in AEW.
On a recent episode of the 83 Weeks Podcast, Eric Bischoff joined the conversation and spoke about Flair’s rumored leap to AEW, saying it will be a major moment for the company even though he’s 72-years-old. Fast forward to this week’s podcast where Bischoff mentioned how he saw Flair this past weekend, but didn’t ask whether or not the 2x WWE Hall of Famer was heading to AEW. The former President of WCW said he believes Flair is more over than he’s ever been in his career, and reiterated how big of a signing he would be for AEW.
“I’m not sure if that’s going to happen or not,” Bischoff mentioned. “I did spend quite a bit of time with Ric both Friday night and Saturday night, and we talked a lot about AEW. I didn’t ask Ric specifically if he was going to go. I figured if Ric wanted to share that information, he’d volunteer it. I didn’t want to ask. I know Ric. I’ve known Ric a long time, 25-30 years, and Ric loves the business today as much as he did 20 years ago. I think if there’s an opportunity there, I would be surprised if Ric didn’t jump on board. I’d be equally as surprised if Tony Khan and the folks over at AEW didn’t find a reason to not extend an offer to him. Ric is a very valuable asset.
“I said this to Kevin Nash and Scott Hall and they both agreed with me. From where we sit, which is on the outside for the most part, but all of us pay pretty close attention and have a decent feel for things. We all agreed without hesitation that, in many respects, Ric Flair is as over today as he’s ever been. I’d go as far as to say Ric Flair is more over today than he’s ever been as a personality.
“Ric is not going to go out there and have 60 minute matches anymore, no more broadways left in Ric’s career. Ric’s value, his equity, what he brings to the table credibility wise to a company like AEW, I think, is still a very valuable asset. Obviously, he would have to be used properly and in a way that doesn’t overexpose him, but from what I’ve seen from AEW so far, they’ve done a good job of that, utilizing legends or legacy talent without overexposing them and overusing them. I think given the right situation, Ric would bring a tremendous amount of credibility to AEW. You could always use a little more, and because Ric has been able to expand his profile across such a wide demo, I’d be surprised if Tony [Khan] doesn’t offer him a deal. And if he does, I’d be even more surprised if Ric doesn’t take it.”
Bischoff spoke on a previous podcast about how “AEW is on their way to being legit competition to WWE,” stating also that it will take time because they need to grab onto the wrestling audience outside of the United States. The WWE Hall of Famer continued to speak about AEW closing the gap with their main competitor, mentioning how star power alone won’t be the answer to reach WWE. He’s adamant international business will grow if they continue on the path they are currently on.
“I think star-power is an indirect part of the equation. It’s not the direct part of the equation,” Bischoff mentioned. “What AEW needs to grow their international business is to continue to have success in the United States. The more successful they become, the larger their audience becomes. Forget about WWE, the larger that the AEW audience becomes, the more attractive AEW will become to international broadcasters. That just takes time. There’s no magic bullet, there’s no secret sauce here. The more successful you are as a domestic US property, the more likely it is you’re going to be able to get clearances in international markets. That’s a function of growth and time more so than it’s a function of star power.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 Weeks with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.