Eric Bischoff knows a thing or two about running wrestling promotions and creating stars. Although his latest run in WWE was short-lived and ultimately unimpressive, he has had massive success in the past as a promoter.
Bischoff talked about the current state of pro-wrestling on the latest episode of 83 Weeks. The Bisch claimed that pro-wrestling has not seen a true Superstar since John Cena in 2002.
He went on to say that there is a difference between regular fame and true stardom and said that being recognized is “fun” but it doesn’t necessarily indicate that a wrestler is “over”.
There hasn’t been a character pop, pop big time for a long time, since John Cena in 2002. When was the last time anybody got over, and when I say get over, I don’t mean get a friggin’ pop and having people chant your name, and having 20 or 30 people waiting for you outside where they know your car is parked so they can get your picture taken and post it on social media, that’s not over, that’s fun. There is a difference between being over and having fun. Having people recognize you at the arena and want your autograph and all of that, that’s fun, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re over.
Bischoff said that a wrestler who is really “over” can move the needle by outperforming everyone else on the card and headlining major events for many years. He said that there hasn’t been any wrestler who has achieved this since John Cena in 2002.
When you’re over, it’s when you move the friggin’ needle. When you’re over, it’s when your t-shirts, your merchandise, starts selling at the events far and above anybody else’s. When you’re over and you happen to be on television, it’s when your segments, or the times you are on television, consistently outperform most of the other talent on the card. That’s when you’re getting over. When you’re over and you can headline a PPV four or five times a year, six times a year, for the course of four, five, six, seven years, that’s when you’re over. And we have not seen that since 2002. It’s been 18 friggin’ years, folks, since we had anybody that was a legitimate star.
Many fans and veterans have had a similar take regarding this topic. WWE shows have been struggling to draw good numbers in TV ratings and now, more than ever, the company requires a legitimate face to carry them to even greater heights.
Bischoff has high hopes from AEW, however, and he gave heavy praise to Tony Khan and his abilities as a producer. It will be interesting to see which company comes up with the next true star in wrestling in the next few years.
Thank you to 411Mania for the quotes.