Eric Bischoff on the potential impact of CM Punk joining AEW

Aug 4, 2021 - by Steve Gerweck

In a recent edition of 83 Weeks, Eric Bischoff discussing CM Punk’s potential impact signing with All Elite Wrestling

Eric Bischoff on the impact of CM Punk signing with AEW:
“Obviously it’ll be a massive shot in the arm and a huge step forward if it happens. We’ve discussed this with AEW and the best use of these kinds of opportunities. I’m a big component of surprise and place a high value on the long-term benefit of establishing yourself as a platform that creates surprises on a fairly consistent basis. And CM Punk would be a great opportunity had it just been a surprise, but I’m also a big advocate for creating anticipation. I think story anticipation, reality, surprise, and action – anticipation is the second most powerful part of that equation. What AEW has done a great job of doing is creating anticipation, and we’re seeing the results of that manifest with ticket sales.”

On how Punk joining AEW would impact the balance of power in wrestling:
“Will it change the wrestling landscape or balance of power in terms of market share? Not subjective opinion because nobody gives a f–k about that. Market share is what people should be considering in this “war” and when we talk about things like landscape. Do I think it’ll change the landscape? I think it will for a while. I think it can in the long-term depending on a lot of things. How do they use Punk? How often is he available? Is he a once a year, twice a year, four times a year attraction, or is he a weekly part of storylines? Those are all things we don’t know. In the short-term, it’s gonna have a major impact because I think a lot of WWE fans are going to sample AEW who perhaps haven’t sampled AEW yet. RAW and SmackDown each get somewhere in the neighborhood of two million viewers per week. AEW gets in the neighborhood of one million viewers per week. So there’s a large portion of the audience for WWE that hasn’t necessarily sampled or followed AEW yet. Punk would be the solution and the silver bullet for the “yet” because if a WWE audience crosses over to sample it because of a guy like CM Punk, provided you’re able to hold them and give them something they’re really committed to in the long term, then yes, I think it can have a pretty substantial impact on the landscape.”

On potential creative ideas for debuting Punk in AEW:
“I wouldn’t put him in a hot angle right away and hot shot it. I would want to continue to build on the successful anticipation that AEW has built upon. I wouldn’t drag it out for six months. But I like the idea of Punk, especially because he can talk, coming in on commentary and stirring the shit and building upon that for a couple of weeks and then eventually have a spontaneous combustible moment that then leads to a wrestling storyline. That’s probably would I would do, not because I think Punk needs to acclimate or get rid of ring rust – those things can all be addressed. If Punk wants to be ready for a main event match in 30 or 60 days, he’ll get there. Will he be at his peak? Probably not, but that’s OK, he’s CM Punk. I don’t think there’s any risk of exposing him by debuting him too soon in a hot angle, I just think you’re squandering the value of the anticipation of the story and the ability to create must-see TV in the sense that, ‘Will it happen this week?’ You don’t want to beat that to death, but I think you get three or four weeks of great build that will enhance his first major angle as opposed to hot-shotting it and satisfying the audience right out of the gate. I’d rather satisfy them over a longer period of time.”

One Response

  1. Joseph says:

    I’ve lost all desire to see this guy in any promotion.

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