AEW News

Eric Bischoff – “CM Punk In AEW Is The Biggest Financial Flop In Wrestling History”

CM Punk

Eric Bischoff famously said controversy creates cash but now says AEW star CM Punk has flopped financially since joining the company in 2021.

Speaking on his 83 Weeks Podcast former WCW President Eric Bischoff discussed his recent social media spat with CM Punk that saw Punk subtweet something Bischoff had said before apparently referring to him as “an old head bad faith bad take carny dipsh*t.”

Eric Bischoff said he wasn’t trying to start a fight with CM Punk before calling him the biggest financial flop in wrestling history based on the return he gets in television ratings compared to AEW’s investment in him:

“I wasn’t picking a fight, I was responding. Punk had some very edgy comments that I’m assuming were directed to me because they were in response to something [Conrad] and I said in a very interesting conversation about current wrestling, WWE and AEW. But evidently, he got a little case of the ass-rash and decided to lash out on social media.”

“I love that sh*t, I love to counter punch. Sometimes I don’t really wake up until I’ve been hit really hard, it’s just my nature but he threw a punch on social media and I thought this would be fun so I responded. I pointed out that this was a guy who came out and said that for a guy who thinks he was a bigger deal than Scott Hall and Kevin Nash coming to WCW, so far he’s fallen flat on his face.”

“I published his quote, I didn’t make anything up. I took his quote and posted it and said how’s that working out? Which it isn’t, obviously. In terms of a return on investment, this guy has to be the biggest financial flop in the history of wrestling.”

Eric Bischoff then contested unattributed claims that Punk is a high merchandise seller in AEW while admitting he doesn’t know if that’s true or not:

“How many millions of dollars in net profit in t-shirt sales is he doing? Nobody knows and we’re responding to comments that aren’t backed up. If somebody can show me, then I’ll eat my words and I’m happy to do that. I’m wrong a lot, I’m aggressive, I try new things, I talk sh*t and I’m not always right and if I’m wrong, I’m wrong.

“So far all we get is ‘he’s selling so much merchandise,’ but how much is so much? By the way, once the initial excitement of anybody, not just CM Punk, you bring somebody in, you launch a new t-shirt, new merchandise, you get a big hit and then it just levels out so you come up with something new and if you’re really over, you can continue to come up with new merchandise and fill the tank. I don’t know if that’s true.”

Bischoff then reiterated that his original point that Punk responded to wasn’t to do with dollars and cents but rather to do with television ratings:

“In the context of the conversations that we’ve had on this show, which was the catalyst for Punk’s response on social media, we’re talking about television ratings, we’re talking about impact. We weren’t talking about the broader spectrum of revenue opportunities. In terms of television, he’s been a horrible return on investment.”

“I’m not saying he certainly hasn’t had any impact on advertising, only Turner Broadcasting would know that. Nobody at AEW would know that because AEW doesn’t sell their own advertising, Turner does. In terms of the context of Punk comparing himself to Randy Savage, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash and the impact that they had on WCW vs. Punk coming out and saying he’s a bigger deal than that, in terms of ratings he’s fallen flat on his face.”

“He came out to 1.17 million people who came out to see his debut Friday night on Rampage, it’s down to around 400-500 thousand on average. Punk’s primer on Dynamite did like 1.29 million people and they came, they saw and they left and now they’re hovering around that 900,000. Which they’ve been doing for, I don’t know, a year, year and a half.”

“When Punk comes out and says he’s a bigger deal than Scott Hall and Kevin Nash coming to WCW, that created a paradigm shift with people watching wrestling, where Punk has created absolutely nothing.”

h/t Wrestling Inc.