wrestling / News

Eric Bischoff on What AEW Is Doing Well, Says Both AEW & WWE Should Focus More on Storytelling

April 25, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Eric Bischoff

On the latest episode of his After 83 Weeks show, Eric Bischoff weighed in on what AEW is doing well, as well as how both AEW and WWE need a stronger emphasis on storytelling. Bischoff was asked what AEW is doing well and what needs improvement and talked about how they’ve excelled at building their brand and how they were able to convert that to a TV show, while talking about how both they and WWE need to focus more on their storytelling as an essential form of any entertainment.

You can see highlights below along with the full video:

On what AEW is doing well: “I think they’re doing a lot of things well. The only — and it’s not even a criticism really. I know it’s going to sound like one I guess, I’m going to try to make sure it doesn’t. Because I really — I don’t know why, I find myself when I look at my Twitter feed. When I read it, it’s like people think I’m anti-AEW and I’m not at all. I mean, I have a lot of friends there. And people who I lot of respect for, who I may not be friends with them because I don’t really know them, but I know of them and have a ton of respect for them. So I’m pulling for them. I’m gonna watch the show tonight, as a matter of fact.

“So what are they doing well? They’ve certainly captured the imagination. They’ve certainly figured out a way to build their brand and build awareness on social media and YouTube in particular. Convert that to a live event phenomenon that they were able to convert to a television opportunity. And by the way, that’s a lot to be proud of. And that’s a lot of doing s**t right, right there.”

On what AEW could do better: “In terms of what I think they could do perhaps differently — and again, I’m going to qualify this because this is what I like, what I’m about to suggest. This is what appeals to me as a 65 year-old guy who’s been in the business for over 30 years. Which is not the same thing that necessarily appeals to a 25 to 49 year old, or 18 to 34 year old, or 18 to 39 year old audience. So just because it appeals to me, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the right way to go.

“However, I really do believe that they need more emphasis on story. And I know they have stories, I’m not suggesting that they don’t. Please don’t misunderstand me, everybody out there in the YouTube universe. That’s not what I mean. But what I do mean is, I think the storytelling could be vastly improved. I think the character development could really be improved. Not as much as the storytelling, because they’ve got some great characters. But I do believe that the characters could be developed to be a little more unique, to be a little more different from each other. There’s a sameness to the characters to me. And yeah, it’s just me. It’s just the way I see things, and the way I interpret things.”

On WWE also having issues with its storytelling: “And this is across the board, this is not just AEW. WWE is probably more guilty than AEW is. I think the emphasis on storytelling has been abandoned for the most part. It’s — yeah, there’s a story there, yes technically. And I know that they try hard to try to create story. But in my opinion, the storytelling in WWE is no better than it is in AEW, and I think part of that is because there’s so much television now. Part of it is because we’ve seen so much over the last decade or more.

“But I really do believe that if there was a little bit more discipline and commitment. More commitment than discipline. A little bit more of a commitment to great storytelling as opposed to great action. Don’t get me wrong! I don’t wanna read any of this s**t on my Twitter feed about ‘Eric hates wrestling action!’ Not true. I love it, I love the athleticism. I’m not like Jim Cornette who gets all pissy every time he sees people do crazy stuff and super-athletic stuff. I enjoy it too. I enjoy the athleticism, the industry has evolved and the audience has evolved with it, as it should be by the way. But I think the athleticism has evolved so much, and the talent themselves have become so competitive with themselves and each other with regard to the athleticism and the presentation of the match that the storytelling kind of gets lost in the process. And I do believe eventually, wrestling will go back. Because story drives every form of entertainment. I don’t care if it’s a freaking comic book, if it’s a movie, if it’s a television commercial by the My Pillow guy … it’s all driven by story. So anyone who thinks you can abandon story in the long-term and things are gonna be just fine, I don’t think is looking at the world very realistically.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit After 83 Weeks with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.

article topics :

AEW, Eric Bischoff, WWE, Jeremy Thomas