Eric Bischoff has never held back on his criticisms of All Elite Wrestling. Bischoff has stated he believes AEW’s current strategy is “not working” and that the company’s constant shots at their competition will lose their goodwill with their fanbase.
On the latest episode of the 83 Weeks podcast, Bischoff noted one of his New Year’s resolutions is to change to way he responds to certain aspects of the professional wrestling world, but that recent comments from AEW President Tony Khan have made it difficult.
“I’m not a big New Year’s resolution guy, but every once in a while I’ll reach a point where I’ll just wake up one day and go, ‘You know, I want to change the direction of my life. I want to change the way I look at things or respond to things,’” Bischoff said. “I’ll really don’t want to be that guy that’s always taking shots or being critical because that’s not who I am. When people ask me a question I’m always as honest as I can be, and I try to be honest in a way that’s not mean or nasty for the sake of being nasty. I say all that because right now, I’m trying really hard to stick to that resolution and not just say what comes to the top of my mind.”
Eric Bischoff is specifically referencing Khan’s big comparison for current AEW TBS Champion Jade Cargill. Khan said he believes Cargill is on “the most dominant run of any wrestler in North America” since Goldberg’s late 1990s undefeated streak in WCW.
“I don’t know Jade Cargill. I don’t know anything about Jade Cargill. I’ve seen her live maybe once or twice. She’s a very, very impressive looking individual from what I recall. I don’t watch a lot of her work so it’s not fair for me to comment, but she looked very green,” Bischoff said. “She’s new. She’s learning. She has amazing talent and she’s probably going to go on to be a big star someday, but she’s not now. Why would you make a comparison like that to Bill Goldberg? Probably about 90% of the people that hear that, read that are going to go, ‘What?’”
Easy E likened Khan’s big comparisons to another former wrestling promoter who also had a strong run on network television before her company underwent a significant face-lift.
“When I hear comments like that out of Tony, it reminds me very much of Dixie Carter and TNA. Dixie Carter had a habit of making announcements that were going to get great social media reactions, but very rarely could follow them up,” Bischoff said. “‘We’re going to make an announcement that’s going to change the wrestling world!’ How many times did we hear that coming out of Dixie and TNA, and then they didn’t deliver? After a while, the audience begins to lose confidence in people that talk like that. When you make everything such a big deal and it really isn’t, people begin to learn that you’re just not a big deal.”
Another one of Khan’s comments that Eric Bischoff has taken issue with is the comparison of AEW’s current success to WCW’s in 1996. Bischoff shut down the equivalence, emphasizing that AEW has not turned the profits that World Championship Wrestling was delivering at the tail end of the 20th century.
“Tony’s constantly drawing comparisons to WCW. The one that sticks out and got the biggest reaction out of me was, ‘Oh, AEW is right about now where WCW was in 1996.’ That was just stupid, ignorant falsehood. It’s not true!” Bischoff said. “Why make a statement like that and set yourself up for comparison when it’s not true? WCW was highly profitable in ’96 dude, you’re not. WCW was outperforming the #1 show in WWE at the time, Monday Night RAW, in head-to-head against real competition including the NFL, and we were winning hand over fist. AEW’s still only delivering about two-thirds what Monday Night RAW does, and half, if that, of what SmackDown does.
“There’s always going to be a percentage of people, a small percentage of people that are going to buy into that,” Bischoff continued. “Because they want that. They want to be excited. But the largest majority of the audience is going to say, ‘That’s not true. That’s kind of insulting my intelligence.’ They lose confidence in you.”