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Eric Bischoff Loved The AEW World Title Match Between Samoa Joe & HOOK

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On a recent edition of his “Strictly Business” podcast, Eric Bischoff discussed the recent AEW World Title Match between Samoa Joe and HOOK on AEW Dynamite, why backstage promos are outdated, and more.

You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On Samoa Joe vs. HOOK: “I loved it. I loved it. Now you can — look, as you can see on social media, people were picking it apart, ‘HOOK should have sold better, kicked out, bleh.’ F**k off. It was a great match. And I posted on social media when I saw it whatever morning it was — Wednesday morning, Thursday morning, Tuesday morning. I got up in the morning, and I see this HOOK vignette on social media. And it really caught my eye because I’d never heard HOOK speak. Whether he has or hasn’t in Dynamite moot point out because I watch it sometimes but I don’t watch it every single week. Because you know, I know his dad, right? Worked with Taz and I like Taz. So, I check out the promo. And I was like, ‘Whoa, this is really good. This is what we need more of in AEW.’”

On backstage segments being outdated: “And it’s not just AEW, by the way. The whole idea of a backstage promo is so f**king dated. I don’t know why people still do them. Because they actually take away 75% of the time, in my opinion. Just my opinion folks, don’t get your balls all twisted up. It’s just my opinion. But when I see a backstage promo, that’s almost an instant channel changer for me. They suck. And particularly in AEW, because there’s a lot of young talent there that have never had the opportunity to really develop their mic skills to the extent that they should or want to. And you put somebody who’s really not that great on the mic, and you put them in this sterile f**king cold, dead backstage environment, and you have this contrived back and forth? None of it feels real, none of it really seems like it’s advancing a character. None of it really feels like it’s advancing a narrative or storyline, it’s just like they’re there. And they’re so bad. Rarely do I see a backstage interview — and I’m not just talking about AEW, I’m talking about WWE too. Every time I see one of those, it’s like, ‘Ugh, bore me to death.’

On HOOK’s vignette: “And it’s so — I want to say it’s easier. But the HOOK vignette is an example of a way to get a character over, to establish a narrative. Because that’s the only reason you f**king do a backstage promo. You’re advancing a story or you’re building a character. Otherwise you’re wasting time. But if you look at HOOK’s vignette, it really — I think, for me. It made me — In fact, it’s the reason that I watched Dynamite that night, that one vignette on social media is the only reason that I tuned into Dynamite. And I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one. Because it felt real, it was relatable. You know, HOOK came out, he didn’t come out there and talk about what a tough guy he is, he wasn’t telling at the top of his lungs, trying to be too cute. He was just having a conversation. And he got himself over, he got the match over, and he never once denigrated his opponent. And it reminded me when I got done watching it — and it wasn’t me that coined this phrase or this observation, but if you don’t get your opponent over, and you s**t all over your opponent in your promo, and if you beat him, what’d you beat? You beat a piece of s**t. If you call your opponent a piece of s**t in your promo — and this is an exaggeration obviously, I’m trying to make a point. But if you s**t all over your opponent and just do a phenomenal job of denigrating your opponent and you beat them, what’d you beat? Worse yet, if you lose now you’re really in a hole. You know what I mean? There’s no thought.

“And if you go back to TNA, we used to do a thing. After we were done taping TNA, and I can’t remember what the show was called, there was a separate show. All it was was promos. But we shot them on the fly, as they call it in the reality non-scripted business. Very, definitely non-scripted, catching — you’re kind of like a fly on the wall. You hear the response to a question that was never asked, but you can tell by the context of the answer, you knew what the question was. It was such a great way of developing a character and advancing a narrative in a way that felt so much more believable. Because you’re not standing in that sterile f**king ridiculous backstage set environment. And again, I don’t care if it’s WWE or AEW, TNA or Impact or whatever it’s called or NWA. The minute I see it is a two-shot or a three shots, somebody holding a stick — and it has nothing to do with their talent. You know, Renee Paquette, I think is a talented woman. But you don’t see it. She’s standing there holding a mic. It’s just like, ‘Ah, bore me to f**king tears.’”

On the HOOK vignette before the match: “But that vignette with HOOK, it got him over. It got Joe over. I mean, you knew when you saw that, HOOK knew he was [fighting] insurmountable odds. In fact, I quoted him. ‘There for the grace of God go I.’ That was the premise of that promo, meaning everybody that saw that, I would say most people could kind of relate to it, right? Because HOOK went into that match knowing he was outgunned. He knew he was going to take an ass kicking. He didn’t care. He was going to do his best. He had belief in himself, he had confidence in himself. And I think that’s a quality that we all wish to some degree or another, consciously or not — subconsciously perhaps — we all wish we were like that. We all wish we could walk into a job interview that we know we’re probably not — for no reason, we’re unlikely to get that job. But just go in there and come out, and you win even though the odds are against you. That’s a quality we all wish we had. And that was the premise of that HOOK promo. And that’s why it worked.

“And I was so — I almost commented, because I responded to that post of that vignette, immediately. And I put it over as best I could and 280 characters and be honest about it. And then as soon as I got down, I was thinking to myself, ‘Oh, I pray to God that the match reflects the same feeling that the promo did.’ Because the promo was so good, I didn’t want to tune in and see a match that was like — you know, seeing HOOK come out like f**king King Kong, swinging from the rafters and doing all kinds of superhuman s**t. You know, he just went out there and he fought for his life. And he was tough, and he took an ass whupping. And who doesn’t admire a guy who is half the size of his opponent or less, just doesn’t give a f**k. And goes out there and fights his ass off, win lose or draw. That’s an aspirational character. And aspirational characters work in a way that a traditional babyface won’t. Typical wrestling babyface. I just thought it was so good. I was so proud; I don’t think I’ve ever met Taz’s son. If I have, it was very, very brief. But I was so proud of him because he set himself so far apart from everybody else just with that one vignette.”

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