Eric Bischoff has offered his opinion on the prospect of Johnny Gargano joining AEW, while suggesting that the company’s current approach to roster building isn’t working.
In recent weeks, AEW President Tony Khan has repeatedly hinted that he could be about to add to the company’s already stacked roster. Khan said that fans needed to make sure they paid close attention to their upcoming shows, after already teasing that he “plans to remain active in signing great wrestlers,”
The subject of new AEW signings hasn’t been far from the surface in 2021, with WWE’s roster undergoing numerous rounds of cuts which has arguably left the free agent market looking stronger than ever. Aside from those releases, stars such as Adam Cole and Bryan Danielson let their contracts expire, before moving to pastures new.
On the December 7th episode of NXT 2.0, Johnny Gargano and Kyle O’Reilly made what is expected to be their final appearances in WWE. Just days after the show, the contracts of both men expired.
Speaking on a recent of his 83 Weeks podcast, available via AdFreeShows, Eric Bischoff commented on the prospect of Gargano joining AEW. The former WCW President said that he hoped the move would happen on one hand, as it would mean Gargano could continue to prosper. However, he also questioned the wisdom of assembling such a large roster.
“For his sake, I hope that happens. You want people in this industry to stay employed and prosper and to be successful at whatever levels they are able to achieve,” Bischoff mentioned. “But what are you going to do with all that talent? ‘Let’s build the biggest roster in the history of wrestling?’ Is that the goal? Is that the end game? To be able to brag about how deep your talent roster is? If it is, I guess AEW is on its way to achieving that goal, but what do you do with that talent?”
Continuing on, Eric Bischoff said that the company’s current policy when it comes to signing talent isn’t working. He pointed at AEW Dynamite’s recent television ratings, suggesting that while having a deep roster can be a positive, it’s important to utilise that talent properly once it’s at your disposal.
“You look at the shows and let’s be honest about it — I’m not being critical, I like AEW and I want AEW to prosper. But let’s be honest about where AEW is, they drew 872,000 viewers this past Wednesday night. That’s what they were doing a year ago. I’ve done shows with AEW that have done more than they did last Wednesday, and the talent roster is stacked with great talent, phenomenal talent but where’s the audience for it? It’s not working. 872,000 viewers on their A show? That’s not exciting.
The numbers are the numbers, and this is a number AEW was doing a year ago, two years ago. It’s weird, and now you’re going to stack even more talent on top of it? What are you going to do with them?”
Despite enjoying a strong working relationship, Eric Bischoff and Tony Khan have clashed in more recent times becoming involved in a war of words through a series of interviews.
The former WCW President criticised Khan for trying to talk up a wrestling war with WWE, his handling of CM Punk’s AEW run to date, at one point declaring that he “didn’t have a f**king idea” what he’s talking about.
For his part, Khan openly discussed not wanting to make the same mistakes as WCW in the past, branding many of the recent comments from Bischoff “laughable.”
Speaking in a recent interview, Khan explained that although the pair haven’t spoke in a while, he retains great respect for his friend.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.