AEW News

Eric Bischoff On If Tony Khan Purchasing ROH Is A Good Decision

Eric Bischoff

Eric Bischoff gave his thoughts on whether or not purchasing ROH was a good decision for AEW President Tony Khan.

On the March 2nd episode of AEW Dynamite, Tony Khan shocked the world by revealing that he’d purchased Ring of Honor, securing the rights to the company and its incredible tape library that features some of AEW’s current top performers.

Khan has made it clear that he doesn’t just intend to use the tape library, but that he will also be continuing wrestling operations and will serve as the promotion’s booker.

Speaking on his 83 Weeks podcast (available via AdFreeShows), former WCW President Eric Bischoff weighed in on Tony Khan’s decision to purchase Ring of Honor and compared it to the idea of WWE buying the promotion, saying it makes the most sense for Khan to purchase the company.

“You could argue that because of the power of Peacock and that platform that any additional content might be a good strategic move for them, but it makes more sense for Tony [Khan]. Given his roster, I would agree with that absolutely. If it made sense to anybody, it made sense to Tony Khan.”

Bischoff also spoke about the relationship between ROH and Sinclair Broadcasting and why he doesn’t believe the relationship has much value. Khan himself has said that he has yet to determine plans for distribution but that he absolutely plans to create more content under the Ring of Honor name.

“There’s not a lot of value there. Optimistically, because there’s so much we don’t know, Tony could have an awesome plan in his back pocket that we don’t know about. Now we’ve got this amazing roster of talent and I don’t really have enough television on TBS to take advantage of it, let’s start another promotion on another television network.

“So you’re going to produce another television show, assuming it’s exclusive and that talent that’s assigned to that Ring of Honor show, now you can take advantage of a huge roster with some great talent. But you’ve got to pay to produce that show and there is not enough return on the investment on that show if you expect to monetize it on the Sinclair network because guess what, that’s why they sold it.”

Eric Bischoff also commented on the idea of AEW starting a streaming service independent of his television deals, and believes that this acquisition of ROH will ultimately work in his favor if that’s the eventual goal, even if it may not be profitable in the short term.

“In the end of it, all the conversation about was it a good deal for Tony or not, I think it was a good deal. If Tony’s goal ultimately is to build, independent of Turner, is to build his own streaming platform? Absolutely the acquisition of Ring of Honor makes sense. It’s not going to make financial sense in the short term, it’s just not. How many people around in the United States television viewing audience, how many of them even know what Ring of Honor is.”

“Short term, it is not going to be profitable but three years from now, five years from now, seven, 10 years out… Because streaming platforms are popping up every day. That’s getting bigger and bigger and bigger and guess what? Content becomes more and more valuable over time. Content that probably wasn’t worth anything five years ago conceivably is not worth quite a bit of money because the market has grown and the ability to feed it with content has not.

“My opinion, short term that library is going to mean absolutely nothing and in a lot of cases it looks like s–t. You couldn’t do anything with it anyway, it looks like it was built on a phone in a high school gym. But there’s still some great content there.”

In terms of short term benefit of the Ring of Honor purchase, Eric Bischoff acknowledges that the tape library will be useful for promoting storylines on AEW television as many of the company’s top performers came to prominence in ROH.

“Here’s perhaps a short-term play that will matter with the Ring of Honor acquisition. If Tony is able to, and his team, is able to figure out a way to use ROH and his legacy and the fact that some of its talent that’s in AEW got their start early on in ROH, there’s a lot of connective tissue between Tony’s current roster and the legacy of ROH. What if they’re able to use that and use Ring of Honor as a backdrop to launch stories from? Because now you’ve got a lot of people, much like they did with CM Punk and Eddie, which only lasted for about 45 seconds, it was still pretty f***ing cool.

“Well now you’ve got ROH, access to the library to use to help fill in the backstory holes that you need to tell a really good story in 2022. I think that’s a short term opportunity. I don’t know if it justifies what the cost was because we don’t know what that was but it doesn’t f***ing matter, you’ve got it now, use it to the best of your abilities. Again great stories have great backstory, creating a new story out of thin air is challenging, it’s obviously done all the time. Now you’ve got a real backstory that you can enhance to launch new stories from and that’s what I hope we see.”

h/t WrestlingInc