Eric Bischoff is a veteran in the pro wrestling business and is undoubtedly one of the greatest minds to have ever worked in it. He is well aware of the changing landscape of pro wrestling as well.
AEW took the world by storm back in 2019 as it was the first pro wrestling company in a very long time that made waves in the pro wrestling world as a form of competition for WWE. It was certainly a risky endeavor as well because there was always the chance it was going to end up being a huge failure.
It is undeniable that AEW has become one of the most talked about companies in the pro wrestling world thanks to CM Punk’s AEW debut and imminent debut of Daniel Bryan, among others.
While speaking on the latest 83 Weeks Podcast, Eric Bischoff talked about AEW’s growth as a company and added that AEW will become legitimate competition to WWE. He added that AEW will eventually close the gap when it comes to international distribution.
I think it already has been [a watershed moment for AEW],” Bischoff mentioned. “No doubt about it. AEW has the momentum in their corner and if they keep doing what they’re doing, I think AEW is well on its way to being legitimate competition for WWE. I didn’t think I’d ever really hear myself say that, and they’ve got a long way to go. Let’s keep things in context. If you look at WWEs business footprint, their revenue, where they are, who they are and what they are, it’s hard to realistically, objectively say that AEW is competition right now, in the sense of revenue, distribution and all of that. But domestically here in the US, which is really the most important thing for both companies, the reason that WWE is so successful internationally is because culturally they are recognized as great American entertainment and that still has value around the world.
American programming is still a very viable thing around the world and because WWE for such a long time has represented the United States and the sport really or the product, they got a big jump on AEW when it comes to international distribution and touring and all the things that go with their television footprint. AEW has a long way to go before they can close that international distribution gap but that’s just a matter of time. The interesting thing about where AEW is at now, because domestically here the buzz is so high that AEW is going to be able to close that gap in terms of its international distribution. This is just my opinion, I don’t know f*** all, I’m just giving you my gut instinct from a fan sitting on the outside watching from the outside looking in. Based on what I know and my experience though, if AEW continues the success they are having, they will build upon the momentum they have currently, they’re going to be able to close that international distribution gap relatively quickly. Once that happens, they become legitimate competition. Not just competition here in the United States for the hearts and minds of the wrestling audience, but I’m talking about from a revenue perspective.
While AEW certainly has a lot of room for improvement, they are definitely on the right path and the next couple of months will be a crucial period of time for the company.
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h/t to Wrestling Inc for the quotes.