Ex-AEW Star Says “Some People Have Way Too Much Stroke” In The Company

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A former WWE superstar who jumped ship to AEW is sounding alarm bells over a perceived lack of structure in his new environment.

One of the things that AEW marketed towards wrestlers across the industry was that it wouldn’t be as restrictive an environment and that wrestlers would enjoy significantly more “creative freedom”.

That freedom has allowed some acts to flourish and do more or less whatever they want without fear of repercussions or limitations imposed on them from coaches or management.

And while some wrestlers have welcomed that freedom, others have begun noticing the consequences of working in such an environment.

One such a person is Bobby Fish, who compared AEW’s backstage environment with NXT’s on Konnan and Disco Inferno’s Keepin’ It 100 podcast.

“Quite a lot less structure. Quite a bit more freedom, which at first, I think a lot of the boys kind of welcome it, but then you experience it for a little while and it gets a little frustrating to be totally honest.

I think some people did have way too much stroke, for sure, but I think some of those people, that’s how they operate and that’s how they get over. Those people are just gonna be who they’re gonna be.

I’m not one of them. You know, I couldn’t tell you the difference between a Democrat and a Republican. I don’t play that game. I always let my physical speak for itself because I’ve been doing athletics my whole life.”

Bobby Fish wishes for a middle ground environment between different extremes seen in WWE NXT and AEW

Additionally, Bobby Fish noted that there is an ideal middle ground between creative freedom and limits imposed from management.

This milieu is ideal because, in his mind, it would prevent an “inmates running the asylum” situation and would protect some of people from themselves.

“I do think that there’s a middle ground where there’s too much structure, there’s not enough structure, and there’s a sweet spot in the middle, and I think they’re closer to maybe too much freedom, and the boys sometimes need to be saved from the boys. They’re their own worst enemy.

“The inmates cannot run the asylum. There has to be a governor put on. The creativity is great, but like I said, there has to be a governor for it, something that funnels it into something constructive, as opposed to, you know, I mean, how many times are people just trying to get their sh*t in or suspicious of like, “Oh, well, this guy’s just trying to get his sh*t in.’

That creates dissension. That doesn’t create unity in the locker room. That’s where I think a company can be successful is when it feels like, okay, well, you know, we’re going out there to put on the best goddamn show we can put on, and I’ll say this.

I mean, that’s what NXT Black and Gold felt like, the TakeOvers. It felt like it was seven to eight matches and everybody was getting a decent amount of time and stories the fans were invested in, so we’re all gonna go out there and just try to have a great show.”