Eric Bischoff Believes CM Punk Has Been A Financial Flop For AEW

Eric Bischoff continued his jabs directed at CM Punk on the latest episode of the 83 Weeks Podcast after the two got into it this past week on Twitter. The extent of the beef saw Punk subtweeting Bischoff, calling him, "an old head bad faith bad take carny dipsh*t," and Bischoff mocking the AEW star for his failed MMA career.

To add context to this story, Bischoff has been very critical of CM Punk since the former WWE Champion made a comment about himself, Adam Cole, and Bryan Danielson's arrival in AEW was bigger than Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash's in WCW. This comment has stuck with Bischoff since it was made, constantly criticizing Punk for his failure to live up to such a high standard given the viewership numbers AEW does each week.

During this week's episode of the podcast, Eric Bischoff spoke about the Twitter beef he had with CM Punk last week and mentioned why he chose to go back and forth with the AEW star. The former WCW President said he wasn't trying to pick a fight but believes Punk is currently, "the biggest financial flop in the history of wrestling."

"I wasn't picking a fight, I was responding," Bischoff said. "Punk had some very edgy comments that I'm assuming were directed to me because they were in response to something [Conrad] and I said in a very interesting conversation about current wrestling, WWE and AEW. But evidently, he got a little case of the a**-rash and decided to lash out on social media.

"I love that sh**, I love to counter punch. Sometimes I don't really wake up until I've been hit really hard, it's just my nature but he threw a punch on social media and I thought this would be fun so I responded. I pointed out that this was a guy who came out and said that for a guy who thinks he was a bigger deal than Scott Hall and Kevin Nash coming to WCW, so far he's fallen flat on his face.

"I published his quote, I didn't make anything up. I took his quote and posted it and said how's that working out? Which it isn't, obviously. In terms of a return on investment, this guy has to be the biggest financial flop in the history of wrestling."

Continuing to talk about his opinion that Punk has been unable to increase AEWs viewership, Eric Bischoff talked about being okay with being proven wrong in this situation given things we don't know about. The WWE Hall of Famer also said he doesn't think Punk is over enough for AEW to continue to come up with new ideas and merchandise to live up to the investment they made in him.

"How many millions of dollars in net profit in t-shirt sales is he doing? Nobody knows and we're responding to comments that aren't backed up," Bischoff said. "If somebody can show me, then I'll eat my words and I'm happy to do that. I'm wrong a lot, I'm aggressive, I try new things, I talk sh*t and I'm not always right and if I'm wrong, I'm wrong.

"So far all we get is 'he's selling so much merchandise,' but how much is so much? By the way, once the initial excitement of anybody, not just CM Punk, you bring somebody in, you launch a new t-shirt, new merchandise, you get a big hit and then it just levels out so you come up with something new and if you're really over, you can continue to come up with new merchandise and fill the tank. I don't know if that's true."

To clarify his point one last time, Eric Bischoff reiterated that the only thing he can judge Punk off of is television ratings and in terms of those numbers, called Punk a horrible return on investment. The WWE Hall of Famer also stated that Punk's comparison to the nWo stars has fallen flat and isn't accurate.

"In the context of the conversations that we've had on this show, which was the catalyst for Punk's response on social media, we're talking about television ratings, we're talking about impact," Bischoff said. "We weren't talking about the broader spectrum of revenue opportunities. In terms of television, he's been a horrible return on investment.

"I'm not saying he certainly hasn't had any impact on advertising, only Turner Broadcasting would know that. Nobody at AEW would know that because AEW doesn't sell their own advertising, Turner does. In terms of the context of Punk comparing himself to Randy Savage, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash and the impact that they had on WCW vs. Punk coming out and saying he's a bigger deal than that, in terms of ratings he's fallen flat on his face.

"He came out to 1.17 million people who came out to see his debut Friday night on Rampage, it's down to around 400-500 thousand on average. Punk's primer on Dynamite did like 1.29 million people and they came, they saw and they left and now they're hovering around that 900,000. Which they've been doing for, I don't know, a year, year and a half. When Punk comes out and says he's a bigger deal than Scott Hall and Kevin Nash coming to WCW, that created a paradigm shift with people watching wrestling, where Punk has created absolutely nothing."

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.