Professional wrestling is the show that never ends with the likes of WWE, IMPACT, AEW, and more holding shows all year round. Former WCW President Eric Bischoff explains why in his opinion this is good for the business and why an off-season like they have in sports and other television series wouldn’t work for pro wrestling.
Bischoff was speaking on his 83 Weeks podcast with co-host Conrad Thompson about the notably low television ratings both WWE’s SmackDown and IMPACT Wrestling garnered over the July 4th weekend. Bischoff explained that the blip over the holiday weekend is an annual occurrence and doesn’t believe any downtime is good for the business.
“First of all, I wouldn’t vote for an offseason. One of the reasons that wrestling works as consistently as it has since the beginning of television time is because it’s 52 weeks a year and it tours. If you take 52 weeks out of the equation and now you take touring out of the equation, you’re going to lose 60% of your audience over the course of five or six years.”
While debating the point of prolonging wrestler’s careers by allowing them set time off, Bischoff explains that an off-season would seriously hamper the connection between competitors and fans.
“Yeah, but you lose your connection to the audience. Wrestling, and here’s the mistake that a lot of television executives make, is they don’t understand the audience. The wrestling audience becomes so familiar with these characters. They identify with them. They live vicariously through them. They’re kind of, in their own entertainment way, addicted to them. If you take them off the air for three, four, or five months, they find other sh*t to do and other things to be interested in. The secret sauce to professional wrestling is that it’s 52 weeks a year. If you go down to 26 and you have to start your season over again and you’ve lost that daily, weekly connection to your audience, and six months later you’re going to come back with a new season, good freaking luck.”
Eric Bischoff also recently discussed his feelings on the current output of today’s wrestling companies, saying that overall he feels “generally disappointed” by it.