Eric Bischoff Shoots On If AEW Is Competition To WWE

Vince McMahon bought out WCW in 2001 and since that time, WWE has had very little competition in the pro wrestling space. Things changed in 2019 when Tony Khan decided to put his money and influence behind a new start-up promotion named All Elite Wrestling and, since that time, AEW has gone on to become the second biggest wrestling promotion in the United States. However, not everybody sees the 3-year-old company as true competition to WWE, a company that has been around for decades upon decades.

"AEW is not competition," WWE Hall of Famer Eric Bischoff said during a recent appearance on "Out of Character" with Ryan Satin. "No matter how much Tony Khan wants to believe it is, it's not. You're in the same business, Tony. That's not the same thing as being in competition. You're not taking market share, Tony ... Other than the fact that a new company has emerged in this space, what's changed? Nothing's changed."

Khan is the CEO of AEW, a company that he helped start alongside EVPs Kenny Omega, the Young Bucks, and former EVP Cody Rhodes, who has since departed AEW to go back to WWE. Khan also purchased Ring of Honor this past March and has produced two ROH PPVs, Supercard of Honor in April and Death Before Dishonor in July.

Of course, AEW and WWE only truly competed head-to-head when "AEW: Dynamite" went up directly against WWE's developmental brand, "NXT," on Wednesday nights from late 2019 until early 2021. The yellow and black brand was initially moved from the WWE Network to the USA Network just weeks before the cable TV debut of AEW. What resulted was what is commonly known now as the Wednesday Night War, an ode to the Monday Night War between "WWE Raw" and "WCW Nitro" in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

"WWE NXT" was defeated by "AEW: Dynamite" all but one week in the key 18 – 49 demo. Consequently, "NXT" was moved to Tuesdays, a night where there was no other major wrestling show. "NXT" has since been rebranded as "NXT 2.0" and has mostly moved away from independent wrestlers in favor of blue chip college athletes.

Eric Bischoff has not been shy in the past about criticizing AEW, notably calling CM Punk a financial flop for the company, amongst other things. Bischoff last appeared on AEW TV on May 28, 2021, when he hosted a party for the Inner Circle. That was his fourth appearance for the promotion, however, he has not appeared on AEW programming since and does not seem to be interested in appearing anytime soon.

If you use quotes from this article, please credit "Out of Character with Ryan Satin" with an h/t to Wrestling INC. for the transcription.