Eric Bischoff has criticised CM Punk’s AEW run to date, saying that the former WWE Champion has “way underdelivered” since joining the company in August.
From the moment that CM Punk arrived in AEW, ending a seven-year absence from professional wrestling, fans and people within the industry alike have watched his appearances with great anticipation.
Since making is in-ring debut for the company at All Out, Punk has remained undefeated seeing off the likes of Darby Allin, Powerhouse Hobbs and most recently Bobby Fish. However, not everyone has been impressed with what they have seen from the former WWE star.
Eric Bischoff took issue with comments from Punk saying he and Bryan Danielson joining AEW was bigger than Scott Hall and Kevin Nash joining WCW in 1996. In addition, Eric Bischoff hit out at AEW President Tony Khan over his recent comments, before saying that Punk had “sh*t the bed” since returning to the ring.
Speaking on a recent episode of his 83 Weeks podcast, Eric Bischoff explained why he has been so critical of the ‘Voice of the Voiceless.’ The former WCW President said that Punk joining AEW wasn’t the same as Hall and Nash joining WCW, pointing the fact that the ratings for AEW Rampage have fallen since Punk’s debut.
“When Punk came out and said that the AEW signing of him and Daniel Bryan was more significant than Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, well I kind of disagree with that,”
“Yes CM Punk was at a high level, 7 fricking years ago when he was at his peak performance role in WWE. That was 7 years ago, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash were fresh off of WWE TV so you can debate significance because it’s another subjective term that’s unquantifiable and I’m not going to bother to do that. I’ll defer to the court, I’ll submit Punk’s position but what I found interesting is after Punk showed up with all his significance, far more significance than Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, only to see AEW lose viewership over the course of the next two or three weeks.
Continuing on Bischoff hit out at Punk for his comments about Hulk Hogan before saying that he has “way underdelivered” since joining AEW.
“Over that two-three week slide, Punk comes out and says ‘It’s going to take five years before anybody really notices,’ hahaha. That to me was like okay dude.
And let’s go back a little further, when CM Punk felt the need to come out in his debut and disparage Hulk Hogan the way that he did, CM Punk doesn’t know Hulk Hogan. Never worked with Hulk Hogan, doesn’t know anything about Hulk Hogan. But he’s trying to get himself over with that dirt sheet/anti-Hogan community and then comparing himself above Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, categorizing himself as more significant and then to come out and when it’s time to deliver, way underdelivered. Way underdelivered, it bears pointing out. If you’re going to talk sh*t and talk smack, then you have to be prepared for others to talk sh*t and talk smack back. “
Eric Bischoff again pointed to the recent AEW ratings, saying that there hasn’t been a story around Punk or Bryan Danielson since they debuted. This is turn means that despite a great initial reaction, ratings have fallen.
“Because you had all this anticipation, Punk’s coming, Bryan Danielson is coming, this guys coming, this girls coming, everybody’s coming, this is going to be great. They came, they saw, nothing really happened, you got a big pop, yay, the crowd reacted, that was awesome, sold a bunch of t-shirts that was awesome, now what? There’s no now what. It’s not episodic. Come on. That’s the example. How many people tuned into Rampage when Punk showed up? 1.3 [million]? 1.3 showed up and how many showed up three weeks later? 500,000. Why’s that? Because you didn’t give them a reason to come back! That’s why!”
The former Raw General Manager explained that he believes that thinking Punk would immediately elevate those around him simply by being there was a mistake. Something that has led to a diminished perception of the star, who he says has done very little since joining the company.
“I think it’s a mistake to put Punk on such a pedestal that you think he’s so over that all he has to do is show up and sprinkle Punk dust on his opponent and that Punk dust is going to elevate his other opponent and not take anything away from Punk. I think Punk, the way he’s being used now, this is constructive criticism, I think that they diminished the perception. There was a ton of perception, great equity in that perception and then he shows up, does a great promo, gets a great reaction and then does kind of pretty much nothing.
I’m not putting myself over but compared to Scott Hall and Kevin Nash because I’m not the one who did it first, Punk did, but Scott Hall and Kevin Nash showed up immediately in the story and s–t went through the roof and stayed that way for a long time. Showing up and getting that big pop and then having nothing for two or three weeks in a row doesn’t help Punk, doesn’t help the product.”
For his part CM Punk recently said the joined AEW instead of returning to WWE because it was fresh and exciting. He added that he was “bored” of WWE’s formula ten years ago, so had no desire to return to it in 2021.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.