When All Elite Wrestling debuted in 2019, nobody could’ve imagined the level it’s reached in such a short amount of time. From continuing to showcase AEW “Dynamite” every Wednesday to doing quarterly pay-per-views, including this weekend’s AEW “Double or Nothing”, to bringing in box office wrestling stars like Bryan Danielson, Sting, and CM Punk, AEW continues its run.

One of the most critical people of AEW and Tony Khan since its inception has been former WCW President Eric Bischoff. The iconic wrestling figure has stated in the past that CM Punk’s time in AEW has “been a financial flop” and also called out Khan when he compared himself to TBS Founder Ted Turner.

With the wrestling universe constantly making comparisons between AEW and WWE, given they’re the two hottest wrestling shows going right now, it’s been rare to find a time where Bischoff has sided with AEW in a scenario. Fast forward to the latest episode of the AdFreeShows.com Exclusive Strictly Business Podcast, and Bischoff gave credit to AEW for doing something better than WWE.

“One of the things I like much better about AEWs production than WWE’s is that I actually feel like I’m in the arena,” Bischoff said. “It’s not so pretty [compared to WWE] and it’s almost artificial when it’s done so well that I just feel like I’m in the arena. I can almost smell the popcorn. For me, that’s the part that I miss, that I enjoy the most, the experience. I really want to almost smell the popcorn, that stale beer that somebody spilled the night before because that’s what brings me back to what made me fall in love with professional wrestling.

“The cleaner it gets, the more distance I feel from it and the less my experience becomes. When you create that totally artificial environment and there’s a lot of reasons why that might be a great idea, I will tell you, for me as an individual, they lost me at that point. There’s no way I’m going to spend two minutes of my life [watching] because I’m not getting anything out of it. [It’s] one of the reasons why I love professional wrestling, and we all have different reasons why we love it, why we’re attracted to it in the first place. It’s different for everybody. For me, personally, the minute they do that, I’m out, completely out.”

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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