Former WCW Executive Vice President Eric Bischoff spoke with the folks from Inside The Ropes while in town for Starrcast 2 weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The interview focused on All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and the fact that they will be competing against WWE in the pro wrestling landscape now that they have reached a deal with Warner Media Group for a weekly television show on TNT.
Bischoff spoke about the pro wrestling fans craving an alternative product to WWE now more than ever before.
“The audience now has finally gotten to the point where they really are craving something different,” said Bischoff. “It doesn’t have to be better, it just has to be different.”
Bischoff continued, “I think what AEW has the opportunity to do now is to present the product in a different and unique way that’s unique enough so that wrestling fans can feel like they honestly have a legitimate alternative, but not so unique that it doesn’t look like wrestling anymore. That’s a very good position to be in and I envy them for being in the position that they’ve put themselves into [because] they’ve worked hard for this.”
Additionally, the former WCW EVP was asked about the subtle nods to his past war against WWE, such as AEW inserting flames in their official TNT graphic. The interviewer even brought up an idea for AEW to have Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Jushin Thunder Liger as the opening match on their inaugural AEW on TNT broadcast as a nod to the debut episode of WCW Monday Nitro on TNT, which kicked off on September 4, 1995 with Brian Pillman vs. Jushin Thunder Liger.
According to Bischoff, however, AEW should be careful with the amount of past references, noting that it’s important for the brand to establish their own, unique identity.
“I would stay away from it in the beginning,” said Bischoff. “Because you don’t want to hang your hat on, or brand yourself too closely with, something like Nitro. Nitro came along at a point in time that was very unique. We went directly head-to-head with WWE. AEW is not going to do that. So rather than relying too much on that association, I would establish my own brand first and after I get a little bit of momentum on my own, then I would probably do a wink and a nod over to Nitro, or to some of the previous relationships, but I wouldn’t depend on it and I wouldn’t come out of the shoot doing it.”
He added, “Because if it was me, the last thing I want people to do is to compare me to Monday Nitro during the Monday Night Wars, because that situation will never happen again. The world has changed in too many different ways for that opportunity to be there again. So rather than comparing my brand to WCW or to Nitro, I would want to stand on my own.”
Check out Inside The Ropes’ complete interview with Eric Bischoff below, or at YouTube.com.