Eric Bischoff on Impact: “They’re not a wrestling business”

Apr 22, 2022 - by James Walsh

Speaking on his AdFreeShows podcast, Strictly Business, WWE Hall of Famer Eric Bischoff discussed Matt Hardy’s past dispute with Impact Wrestling and parent company Anthem Sports over the Broken Universe IP, Impact’s current level in the industry, AEW’s potential for growth as a product, and more. Below are some additional highlights (via

Bischoff on the Matt Hardy dispute with Anthem Sports/Impact Wrestling over the Broken Universe: “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’ve got no merchandising, hardly anybody is watching their show, and it has nothing to do with the talent.”

Bischoff on Impact not being in the wrestling business: “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.”

Bischoff on how current potential licensees are looking at AEW: “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.’ 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.”

On AEW’s potential for growth: “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.”

2 Responses

  1. DB says:

    Impact Wrestling did a great job avoiding being shut down due to the fallout of the Bishoff/Hogan era. It still hasn’t recovered to the level it was before then, but it still has a fan base and for me, it is entertaining to watch.

  2. What? says:

    What Bischoff is saying is what a lot of people are missing about AEW. It isn’t and can’t possibly be competition to WWE right now after a few years of existence compared to the decades of history WWE has. It may be someday, or it might be a relative flash in the pan – we don’t know yet. Remember, Impact/TNA initially built its brand with a combination of rising stars and WWE castoffs. WCW continued to survive and grow into a legitimate competitor with the help of its owner’s deep pockets. AEW has both of those, so time will tell which track it takes.

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