All Elite Wrestling's Tony Khan recently sat down with The Financial Times to compare his promotion to the last major promotion to run head-to-head with Vince McMahon, WCW. Khan's comments regarding WCW's later years weren't too flattering, as he said he's learned "what not to do" from the mistakes the company made in the late 90s, and that the bad business decision made at the time were a "release disservice to fans." He even went so far as to way that if WCW had been run "logically," the Monday Night Wars behind WCW Monday Nitro and Monday Night Raw would've lasted for decades as opposed to ending in 2001.
Eric Bischoff, who worked as WCW's executive producer and eventual president during the late 90s-early 2000s, wasn't a fan of Khan's comments. He responded on a recent episode of the After 83 Weeks podcast and called out Khan for never accomplishing anything in the wrestling business.
"He's been in the professional wrestling business for what time is it? It's about a cup of coffee, I think I think your coffee could still be warm at this point," Bischoff said. "And so far he's spent... from what I've heard, I don't know if it's accurate or not, I want to make sure I say that... somewhere between $30 million and $50 million to prove that he could be competitive with WWE's developmental territory
"Call me in a couple years and tell me what you've done that's really unique," he continued. "Call me in a couple years and let me know how you've changed the industry. Call me in a couple years when your show is one of the top — if not the top — original piece of programming on the TNT network. Call me in a couple years when you're #2, #3, #4 in all of cable programming for the night in prime-time...and then let's talk about it."
AEW has beaten NXT in viewership every week since the start of 2020. Back in January the company announced it had signed a new contract extension with WarnerMedia to keep AEW Dynamite on TNT though (at least) 2023, while greenlighting a second show.
"When we launched AEW one year ago, we wanted to start a revolution that would disrupt the wrestling business, but everyone said that it would take a strong weekly television partner to make AEW real in the eyes of everyone — above all, the fans," Khan said in a press release at the time. "What virtually no one realized at the time was Kevin Reilly and TNT were committed to this very same movement from Day One, and their belief in us made it possible for AEW to think and act big from the start. Here we are, only three months into Wednesday Night Dynamite, and now we've been extended through 2023! We're now making the ultimate statement that the team of AEW and TNT is here to stay and to bring fans more of the great wrestling that the fans demand and deserve."
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