Tony Khan opened his own pro wrestling company thanks to his family’s huge wealth. It didn’t take very long for the pro wrestling world to put a microscope on him and AEW’s activities. Now his booking mindset has been called into question.
Once considered the “booker of the year,” many fans are starting to turn against Tony Khan. After all, AEW’s chaotic, brawl-filled, conclusions for every television broadcast gets old.
While speaking to SHAK Wrestling podcast, Eric Bischoff didn’t hold anything back. He put AEW over as a “super meaningful” alternative to WWE, but then he suggested that Tony Khan needs to wake up and start booking a bit better.
“AEW is a super meaningful alternative [to WWE],” Bischoff admitted. “But the point is, Tony Khan refers to WWE as competition. Tony, wake the F up — you are not competition. You have not taken any market share, your audience is not growing on television, and there is not even a comparison in terms of a financial perspective — in terms of revenue generation. So, exactly how are you competitive? If you’re not taking market share, and you’re not even in the same conversation from a revenue standpoint — that’s the beginning and end of the competition conversation. You’re either taking market share or you’re not, or you’re either equal to or close in on the competitor’s revenue, and they’re not. They’re not even close.”
“If Tony Khan is smart, and I know he’s very, very smart, a lot smarter than me in a lot of ways. I don’t exactly think he’s got a creative instinct in his body. I think what he’s doing is reliving a childhood memory, you know of ECW and the indie scene, and super matches. He’s booking, in my opinion, like a 14-year-old would – who would have a lot of toys and things he can play with. But I’m not seeing story – we’ve seen the wrestling audience or AEW audience call it a story but it’s not. It’s an excuse for having a super match or dream match.”
Eric Bischoff then continued to beg Tony Khan not to cater toward the internet niche audience. Those fanboys do not make up a majority of the greater demographic, but Khan keeps booking to appease them.
“If Tony Khan is really smart, and if his goal is to really compete [with WWE], he needs to look at what’s working in WWE in terms of the storytelling and format perspective,” Bischoff stressed. “He’s going to wake up one day and realize that being a dirt sheet booker and catering to the internet wrestling community is a wonderful thing, because your name is on the internet all the time, but it’s [AEW] not going to grow beyond the point that it currently exists. Because you’re only serving a small portion of the audience, you’re not reaching out to the broader audience. Not everyone breathes, sleeps, and eats wrestling, you know? The internet audience does, but there’s a more, I don’t want to say passive, but a less-committed viewing audience out there that’s really important.”
Tony Khan is running a pro wrestling company, and they need to turn a profit eventually. The glaring thing is that TK keeps spending a ton of money on new talent and projects before any revenue has a chance to come in. Perhaps Easy E will give Khan a call, but it’s anyone’s guess who Tony is listening to nowadays.
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