In a wrestling world where nothing stands still and everyone and everything is seemingly in a state of flux, there is but one constant. Eric Bischoff and Tony Khan going back and forth in interviews, on podcasts and social media.
Although the pair previously enjoyed a good relationship which saw the former WCW President appear on AEW programming more than once, that good-will has long since evaporated. Bischoff has been openly critical of AEW and Tony Khan’s position as booker, while the AEW boss has staunchly defended his brand.
Eric Bischoff Takes At Tony Khan
The most recent spat came after Bischoff suggested there were too many ‘cold’ matches on AEW television, with numerous bouts not linking up with existing storylines. Khan didn’t take kindly to these comments, branding the former WCW President as “contradictory and hypocritical,” citing the number of ‘cold matches’ which featured in WCW.
Speaking in a new interview with Fightful, Eric Bischoff has fired back once again. The wrestling figure turned podcaster likened Tony Khan to a 15-year-old with too much money.
“I think what Tony says is funny. Because he reminds me of a fifteen year old kid that’s got too much money and doesn’t know what to do with it and he’s running around, bouncing off walls trying to make some sense out of stuff.
Look, I never said that every match on every show needs to have a story. But your top three or four should and I encouraged Tony, who has an employee by the name of Kevin Sullivan, who was formerly a director in TNA. Not the booker. Two different Kevin Sullivans. Kevin Sullivan, the producer and the director, works for Tony, and Kevin Sullivan has a show bible that I created for Spike TV, Viacom while I was there.”
Bischoff then attempted to clarify his earlier comments, while also branding AEW a “$100,000,000 vanity project.”
“I would encourage Tony to look at that because it really illustrates to someone who’s never done it before how you make sure you’re A story, your B story, your C story, your D story all have structure and all carry out over the course of three or four months. Then your stories underneath that, your opening matches, your mid-card matches where you’re introducing your talent or trying to establish talent that has yet to be established.
They don’t necessarily need to have a back story. You can just bring people out and just showcase them. That’s fine as long as you have legitimate story and well structured story for your top four matches. That’s what I’ve said all along. But Tony has a tendency to ricochet off walls and say stupid shit because he doesn’t really understand much about the industry really.
He’s a wrestling fan with a lot of money. It’s a $100,000,000 vanity project. Good for him. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be Tony Khan. Who wouldn’t want to have a $100,000,000 or $1,000,0000,000 to go play in whatever sandbox you want to play in. Then, of course, you’re not going to want to be criticized by people who have done it before. But that’s just human nature, I guess.”
During the conversation, Eric Bischoff was also asked about the tension and confrontation between CM Punk and The Elite. This came to a head following the post-All Out media scrum with the two parties brawling backstage.
When asked if there was potentially money to be made by bringing the issues on-screen, Bischoff didn’t want to commit to a solid answer, but did reiterate his earlier claims that Punk would flop in AEW.
“I don’t know if you can make money off of it because now—and I don’t know a lot about it, so I’m hesitant to comment on it just because there’s so much I don’t know—from what we all know, because I don’t know more than you all do watching from the outside, there’s a lack of leadership.
When you’ve got that much turmoil amongst that many different people and it’s manifest to your audience, and you got talent that you’re paying millions and millions and millions of dollars to, and they’re coming out and showing their ass in a national media scrum and calling out the owner of the company and calling out other people in the company, to me, that’s a reflection on leadership or lack thereof.
How would I handle it? I don’t know, man. I don’t know. I wouldn’t have put myself in that position to begin with. If you remember, you may not have paid any attention, but I made a comment one day months before all that went down, I said, ‘CM Punk’s gonna be the biggest financial flop in the wrestling business.’
It stirred up all kinds of stuff. Tony Khan’s hair caught on fire. He’s babbling like a fucking idiot. He was so upset about it. Three months later, here we are. So I wouldn’t have put myself in that position.”
While CM Punk remains absent from AEW programming, the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega are set to return to action at AEW Full Gear taking on Death Triangle.
H/t to Fightful