During the latest edition of his “83 Weeks” podcast, Eric Bischoff commented on Tony Khan’s recent shots at WWE, why it could backfire with the fans, and more. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On Tony Khan boasting AEW’s ratings win over WWE: “Again, it’s messaging, it’s narrative. ‘They won.’ Keep in mind, SmackDown was on a third or fourth-tier cable outlet on FS1. If you’re not in the industry and don’t understand where cable platforms lie within the rankings in terms of average daily viewers, you would just say, ‘They’re on cable, we’re on cable. Even playing field.’ No, it’s not. TNT is typically in the top 10 of all cable outlets on a pretty consistent basis. FS1 is typically in the bottom third of cable outlets. Now, they can be available in almost as many homes, but availability doesn’t equate to – in a real world – popularity….to suggest, whether it’s going head to head for 30 minutes or not, you beat them while they were on a third or fourth tier cable outlet is a little creative. It’s not not true, but it’s also not realistic either. It’s not real head-to-head competition, and that is the core of my point.”
On why Tony Khan taking shots at WWE could backfire with fans: “What Tony is doing, by constantly denigrating WWE and creating this data narrative that somehow WWE is winning a non-existent war – when Tony echoes that, Tony is blowing a big opportunity. He really is. WWE came into existence at a point in time when the audience was craving an alternative. They had a clean slate and didn’t bring any negative baggage to the dance like WCW did when we launched Nitro. All that shit was out there because nobody thought that could ever happen. On top of that, WCW had a very negative association with the audience. It was a mismanaged, disaster of a company that was No. 2 at the time but might has well been No. 152 to WWE. AEW didn’t have that issue. AEW came in with massive amount of public support and goodwill. WCW didn’t have that. We had to fight up from out of the sewage to finally reach dry ground, then try to find the mountain and climb the mountain. AEW didn’t have to do that. All they had to do was come out and say we’re doing this and hire key pieces of talent, and they’re off and running. They had all of this goodwill.
“What happens when you start putting yourself over, in my opinion, prematurely in the way they’re doing it by constantly denigrating and comparing to WWE, is you start losing that goodwill because people see through it – just like baseball fans who listen to the owner of that team compare a batter in Triple A ball that’s doing a .360 batting average to a player in the majors that’s got a .180. Anyone who’s paying attention to anything would know that’s kind of bullshit. But when AEW does that, they’re gonna start losing that goodwill. From a wrestling psychology point of view, AEW, from the minute they turned on the lights, was the babyface. The audience wanted AEW to win because they want that competition. They’ve lived through it and know that great competition creates a higher tide and the product is more exciting. But to do it prematurely and do it in a way that’s not totally honest because it’s not in context, you’re going to get a fair amount of fans that are gonna go ‘bullshit’ and in the process, you’re gonna lose that good will and have people picking you apart. They’re gonna start looking at you differently because they know what you say isn’t totally true.”
(h/t – 411 Wrestling)