This whole thing may very well just be a work for everyone to hype up their wrestling shows and podcasts, but the war of words between Eric Bischoff and Tony Khan has been one of the bigger stories in wrestling this week.
After Tony Khan said he won’t make the same mistakes with AEW that Bischoff made as the leader of WCW back in the 1990’s, Bischoff told Khan and some of the talent to “shut up and wrestle.”
Eric dismissed the notion that last week’s Friday night war between WWE SmackDown and AEW Rampage was comparable to the Monday night war he had against Vince McMahon back in the 90’s. Eazy E referred to last week as a “cosplay competition,” rather than the real thing. Khan characterized Bischoff’s stance as “laughable” and then explained at length why Eric was being a hypocrite.
Chris Jericho is always outspoken and one of the top stars in AEW, so earlier today on Twitter he also responded to Bischoff’s criticism of AEW. Here’s what he said:
Not sure what a “cosplay competition” is Eric, but @WWE market share has definitely been decreased by @AEW. To the point whenever they forced themselves into “real head to head competition” w us (most recently last Fri) they lost. I’m gonna shut the fuck up now & keep wrestling. https://t.co/ZVn6t9a7U1— Chris Jericho (@IAmJericho) October 21, 2021
Bischoff is correct that the current competition between AEW and WWE hasn’t come close to approaching the heights of the Monday night war between WCW and WWF. But last Friday night was indeed real direct competition between WWE and AEW, and the numbers were close enough that WWE is not picking that same exact fight again next Friday night (Oct. 29) when SmackDown returns to cable on FS1.
Bischoff, Khan, Jericho, and others can go back and forth as much as they want on this topic, but I think WWE’s decision to keep SmackDown’s runtime at two hours next week says everything you need to know about how that experiment worked out.