If you think that AEW is the first time WWE has had any competition, then Eric Bischoff wants to kick you in the balls.
Eric Bischoff was a guest on 83 Weeks and discussed the topic of AEW being the first time WWE has had any competition. He then gets offended by the accusation and points out that TNA, now Impact Wrestling, was a threat to WWE before AEW was even a twinkle in Cody’s eye.
“They were also delivering 1.5 million to 2 million viewers a week.” Bischoff continued “Now you’ve got companies getting excited about half a million viewers or 700,000 viewers. I go, ‘Okay? I guess that’s important? I guess that’s really changing the world.’ “But as much of a lol as you put it as TNA was getting at the time, they were delivering consistently prior to Hogan and I getting there and subsequent 1.2 million, 1.4 million and 1.5 million viewers. Hell, the ReACTION show that Jason Hervey and I produced that aired at 11 o’clock to 12 o’clock at night delivered a million viewers that followed iMPACT at midnight.”83 Weeks
Those are some very good numbers. It’s very easy to forget about TNA in the shadow of the hype juggernaut which is AEW. It has been years since people have been interested in the company. The last time it was getting talked about was the Dixie Carter vs Billy Corgan lawsuit over control of the company.
Eric Bischoff talks about taking great umbrage and offense to people forgetting about TNA. Like he said they were competition to WWE before, during, and after, he worked with TNA.
“It’s easy to become myopic and forget about facts relative to the past, but for someone to suggest that this is the first time that WWE has had competition? I’m sorry. I’ll take exception to that. I’ll take a big exception to that! And again when any wrestling company, I’m not picking on anybody, and like you, I fully support AEW, there’s a lot of people there that I know personally, behind-the-scenes and in front of the camera, I’m fully supportive of them, I cheer them on, nothing negative here, but don’t get out over your skis and position yourself as something that you clearly not yet,” Bischoff said.83 Weeks
AEW Won’t Fix Everything Wrong In Wrestling
A lot of people want AEW to be the savior of pro wrestling and the alternative to WWE. AEW has some of the best wrestlers in the world. They have Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, The Lucha Brothers and one of the greatest pro wrestlers of all time in Chris Jericho. However, the WWE is something completely different and it will be very hard to topple an empire like that. Let’s be honest and admit that AEW is for the hardcore pro wrestling fans and WWE is for everyone. If AEW can get the casuals then they can be a big threat to WWE.
Even though Bischoff was trying to humble AEW fans he still has some nice things to say about the promotion.
“AEW is highly competitive. In fact dominating, consistently dominating the WWE development territory. Cause that’s what NXT is, let’s be honest and fair. Let’s also be honest and fair and recognize that NXT has had a 10-year jump on AEW. NXT has been around for a long time. NXT has the full support and cross-promotional opportunities of both RAW and SmackDown. That’s something that AEW doesn’t have. But still, to suggest that this is the first time WWE has had competition? I’m sorry. Move over to the side here, I’m gonna kick you right in the balls,” Bischoff said.83 Weeks
TNA Had A Lot Of Big Names Past and Present
It’s a crazy point-of-view to think WWE has gone without competition before AEW. First of all, WCW was huge competition and could have killed WWE, but I’ll pretend that fans mean after the death of WCW. However, TNA was WCW Jr. in a lot of ways, good and bad. They were a big threat to WWE in TNA’s prime.
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I’ll forgo the TNA storylines because I’m not too familiar with them. However, I am familiar with their wrestlers and so are you. They employed some legends in wrestling like Ric Flair, Mick Foley, Sting, Jeff Hardy, and Kurt Angle, to name a few. However, they also created some of the top names in wrestling today like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Bobby Rude, and Christopher Daniels. The character of Broken Matt Hardy came from TNA and that blew up big time.
However, what was being overlooked is what WWE considered a “threat” or “competition.” I think WWE considered them more of a nuisance. They were like a papercut and they hurt. You wish you didn’t have it, but you won’t die from it.
Do you think AEW is legit competition to WWE? Did you think TNA was competition to WWE? Let us know in the comments or I may kick you in the balls Eric Bischoff style.
Sources: WrestleZone, 83 Weeks