Tony Khan has had his say on former WCW boss Eric Bischoff’s take on AEW having matches with no storylines and he thinks Bischoff is being “hypocritical.”
Eric Bischoff led WCW’s charge against WWE in the mid-nineties with his company known for introducing US fans to many lucha libre competitors on a big stage as part of the company’s hallowed cruiserweight division before things really took off for the promotion with the likes of the NWO coming to the fore.
Bischoff has been seen as something of a critic of AEW in recent months and explained why he was soured on company president Tony Khan.
Speaking on Busted Open Radio, Tony Khan has fired back at some of Eric Bischoff’s comments – that have been echoed by some fans on social media – about how matches are presented on AEW television. Khan began by explaining why he thinks not every match needs a long, drawn-out story:
“There are a lot of really interesting stories happening in AEW. There’s this fascinating thing that is happening. I’ve noticed that things are changing a lot in the perception of how a wrestling card is built over the years. Now, there is this perception, I think because this is the way people have seen it done for most of the last 20 years, I understand it’s become, to some extent, an industry standard, if only for the lack of competition.”
“There is this perception that every match on every show should have a long storyline built as to why it takes place. It doesn’t need to be the case for every single match. There is absolutely a lot of story in most of the matches on this show and most matches on a lot of our shows, but sometimes you can see something that is the start of a new issue.”
Tony Khan then explained why he thinks Eric Bischoff was being “contradictory” on the issue, saying that WCW Nitro was home to many matches that hadn’t had a big build-up. According to Khan, he believes that approach from Bischoff was when WCW was at its best:
“Frankly, I think the person who has been incendiary, contradictory, and hypocritical on this entire point is Eric Bischoff. If you watch Nitro, especially the good Nitros from 95 to 98, a lot of the quality of the show was lucha matches and things you didn’t expect and there was a certain exquisite randomness to the card.”
“You turn the show on and it’d be like, ‘Hey, Rick Martel vs. Perry Saturn, that’s cool. Randy Savage vs. Bobby Eaton, okay,’ and various lucha matches that didn’t necessarily have build up but they were fun matches. They weren’t the big story matches.”
“Sure, there were a lot of stories happening in WCW, but probably less than half the matches on Nitro had a story and that was fine. It was the industry standard show. Then, it tried to copy the competition and put lots of story where every single match had a story and had two guys having a fight over a cup of coffee in catering and that just doesn’t need to be the case.”
“Sometimes, it can be as simple as a challenge and two people fighting to be the best, but the majority of the time, or a large percentage of the time, you should have a story built into a match, but the perception that you can’t just have two people come in and fight…it could be the start of something, it could lead to something with different people, who knows. There are a lot of different ways to skin a cat.”
“In this case, to see the person who probably put more cold matches on TV, and did it successfully and well, say it’s an abomination to do it, it’s pretty contradictory. I found it very ironic for Eric Bischoff to say, ‘why is this match happening?’ Why did 60 percent of the matches on Nitro happen? Honestly, that’s when Nitro was a better show before they tried to change it to something else.”