During the latest edition of his “83 Weeks” podcast, Eric Bischoff commented on the five wrestlers he’d pick to start a pro wrestling company, AEW catering to “smart” fans, and more. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On whether AEW caters too much to “smart” fans: “I think that’s a criticism that’s fair. And it’s not even a criticism, it’s an observation. If doing so, AEW knowingly and intentionally by design is writing and producing its shows to appeal to that 10 percent of the audience that makes 90 percent of the noise and it’s working for them, go forth and fucking prosper folks. Keep doing what you’re doing. That’s your goal. If you’re growing your audience by doing what you’re doing, continue to grow your audience. Personally, I feel that the show does cater to the smallest and loudest percentage of the audience and does have a little too much of the indie feel to it. It’s not a criticism, it’s a distinction.
“There’s nothing wrong with indie wrestling, and there’s a lot of it I really enjoy because it’s the roots and foundation. In my humble opinion, yeah, AEW needs to balance with different storytelling and characters that have a bigger feel because right now, other than a small handful of people, they all feel the same. Some are spectacular, don’t get me wrong. Kenny Omega, the Bucks – but for the most part, they all kind of feel the same. To grow the audience beyond what it currently is, you need to find those characters that appeal to a different mentality. I’m not saying they all need to be WWE characters, but there needs to be a good balance.”
On who he thinks are the top future stars in wrestling: “In AEW, I’m a huge fan of MJF. Anyone who follows me on social media probably knows that. He’s just an amazing young talent, and the fact that he’s as young as he is and as good as he is, I think we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. I dig him as a performer. This one will shock people maybe, but Matt Riddle. I’m kind of digging it. He’s different, and he’s good. He’s gonna get better and better and better. I love the Randy Orton and Matt Riddle combination. I don’t know if it’s long-term, but there’s a buddy cop moving that takes place in the ring. You’re talking about two different types of personalities that could really play well off of each other. The potential and entertainment for that combination is off the charts good. I dig Matt Riddle and think he’ll be one of the people I’ll be watching. So, right now, I’d say him and MJF. Cody Rhodes is doing a great job and has a lot of things going on. If he doesn’t get himself spread too thin and stays focused, I think Cody could emerge as one of the biggest names in the business.”
On his picks for five current wrestlers he’d choose to start a new company: “[MJF], Matt Riddle. I’d snatch Randy Orton in a heartbeat. Kenny Omega, got enough momentum. If you’re starting fresh, there’s a lot of talent in WWE, but I only get five. You’re looking at anchors and people you’re gonna be depending on for the next five or 10 years. I’m going Cody.”
(h/t – 411 Wrestling)