Eric Bischoff has claimed that a lack of commitment to storytelling has prevented AEW from expanding it’s television audience.
AEW Dynamite debuted on October 2nd 2019 and pulled in 1.409 million viewers. The show has continued to perform a little over, or a little under the one million viewer mark all the way up to the present day. The March 9th episode of the show drew 945,000 viewers.
While AEW has grown significantly since it’s inception, with an ever-expanding roster, and numerous acclaimed pay-per-views, the topic of television ratings is never far away.
Speaking on a recent episode of his 83 Weeks podcast, available via AdFreeShows, Eric Bischoff has now had his say on the company’s viewing figures. The former WCW President has been vocal in the past about a perceived lack of storytelling in AEW, something he says has resulted in a viewership that has plateaued.
“I’ve been saying this from the get-go,” Bischoff said. “I’ve been saying from day one whether it’s about WWE or AEW, it’s a commitment to story and AEW is proving my point. The fact that they have plateaued is proving my point. You can add whoever you want to your roster and it won’t matter beyond a week or two unless the audience is engaged in a compelling story that makes them look forward to next week. Not because they’re just wrestling fans and they want to see a four-star Tokyo Dome [match], no, that’s not going to grow the audience.
“That’s going to satisfy the audience you already have. If you can have that phenomenal athletic match, great, and it’s the pay off to the story, that’s excellent, that’s perfect. But if you’re not building stories that people focus on, talk about, relate to, and make [the fans] want to come back every week and see where it’s going next, if you’re not doing that, I don’t give a damn.”
Furthermore, Bischoff adds that he sees more story-based programming in WWE, commenting that he simply doesn’t see it in AEW.
“You could take WWE’s existing roster, bring it over to AEW and nothing is going to happen,” Bischoff said. “It’s story, and first of all, you have to have a basic understanding of how to tell a story and I don’t see it. I see it in WWE and I don’t see it in AEW.”
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.