On the latest edition of Strictly Business on AdFreeShows WWE Hall of Famer and former WCW President Eric Bischoff spoke about the growth of AEW, as well as his thoughts on the current state of IMPACT, which Bischoff claims is not even really in the wrestling business as they barely tour or merchandise. Highlights are below.
Says IMPACT is not in the wrestling business because they barely travel:
“It’s f*cking IMPACT, I can get more people to watch me cooking a burger on my big green egg on a Saturday afternoon than watch IMPACT. They’re not in the wrestling business, they have a wrestling show but they’re not touring, they’ve got no licensing, they’re got no merchandising, hardly anybody is watching their show and it has nothing to do with the talent.”
How IMPACT has a talented roster:
“They’ve got some really great talent but it is what it is, they shouldn’t even be in the conversation about televised wrestling because it’s silly. They’re not a wrestling business. If you enjoy that product, good for you and good for them but to have a conversation about licensing and merchandising with IMPACT Wrestling is [laughable]. Of course they gave [Matt Hardy’s Broken character’s licensing and trademark] up, because they don’t have any reason to hold onto it, they’re not in that business.”
How AEW can truly grow their business:
“Nobody else out there that is manufacturing products is looking at the AEW brand right now or anybody in it and going, ‘wow, we can build our future on that,’” Bischoff said. “They’re looking at it and going ‘wow, this is interesting, let’s see where this tracks for the next year-three years. And if there’s consistency and they see that the belt program that AEW has for example at Walmart, and is actually tracking and growing and creating revenue, that will give future licenses the interest in coming out and trying to build some of their product on AEW licensed properties. But that doesn’t happen overnight, it didn’t happen overnight in WCW. Providing AEW continues to grow, which arguably they’re not, they’re kind of flatlining at a million viewers a week, but if they can grow that industry in such a way that it gives confidence to manufacturers and distributors to go ahead and invest money in that licensing in hopes to increase sales off their products, that’s when you’ll start to see real growth in AEW. It’s not a knock against them, you can’t do that overnight. No one is going to take that risk until you’ve established yourself in the marketplace.”
(H/T and transcribed by Wrestling Inc.)