Eric Bischoff has called Tony Khan “ignorant” in response to his bold claim that WCW owner Ted Turner didn’t know “1% of what he knows” about professional wrestling.
Bischoff addressed the AEW President’s words about Turner on his 83 Weeks Podcast, (available via AdFreeShows), and also other comments Khan has made in recent weeks as he has attempted to heat up the competition between AEW and WWE.
Bischoff, who has made several appearances for AEW, started by saying that he is a supporter of the promotion and wants them to succeed.
“Let me first say, I am pulling for AEW to be hugely successful. I am a supporter of AEW, I am grateful that AEW is doing well on TNT.”
The former WCW President also said that he thought the way Khan responded to WWE extending SmackDown by half an hour – putting the show head-to-head with AEW Rampage – was great.
“There’s a lot of things I like about AEW but some of Tony Khan’s comments this week are not doing him any favours let’s put it that way. I think it’s cool that Tony responded and AEW responded to the fact that WWE did a half hour overrun to challenge AEW as their show started at 10 o’clock. I like that and think that was great.
However, he believes that Khan overreached by claiming AEW would outperform WWE that Friday night.
“I would’ve tried to do the same thing so I have no criticism for what Tony is doing but I think some of the things Tony is saying is not a good look. To come out and predict as he did that AEW is going to outperform [WWE].
“Keep in mind, for all of you people that are out there who are focused on ratings and demos, nobody is putting anything into context. The wrestling audience wants there to be a legitimate Monday Night War version 2.0 so badly that they all participate in cosplay competition.
“To come out and predict that AEW was going to defeat SmackDown on FS1 was a bad choice. SmackDown delivered somewhere just under 800,000 viewers, AEW delivered just under 600,000 viewers. Not a good look. It wasn’t slightly, it was to the tune of 30-35%, that’s not insignificant.
“Even more so, that all happened on FOX Sports One. [Tony Khan’s] tweet didn’t do AEW any favours. You might have served the internet fan base but you’re not serving your business well because you got your ass kicked on Friday night. Simple as that.”
Eric Bischoff then moved on to the comments Tony Khan made about Ted Turner, specifically that Turner “didn’t know 1% of what he knew about professional wrestling”, something that Bischoff believes to be “completely uninformed”.
“That is a completely uninformed, therefore ignorant comment to make. Ignorant because I don’t think Tony knows whether or not Ted Turner grew up a wrestling fan or not, I don’t either by the way. If you know anything at all about Ted Turner, if you’ve read anything that’s been written in Teds own words, Ted believed in wrestling above all else other than perhaps the Braves.”
The WWE Hall of Famer went further by saying that Turner saw that wrestling was important for getting TBS off the ground and that AEW wouldn’t even be on TNT if it wasn’t for him.
“Professional wrestling is one of the reasons that TBS got off the ground because Ted Turner knew that professional wrestling was a staple of the audience that he was trying to generate and knew it would bring eyeballs.”
“The fact that Tony Khan is even on TNT, which at least when I was there stood for Turner Network Television, and then to come out and compare himself to Ted Turner and suggest if Ted knew anything at all about professional wrestling on the level that Tony Khan does, that WCW would still be around? That was an ignorant statement.”
He also gave Khan some words of advice, recommending he read the “Rise and Fall of Nitro” to get informed.
“Read the book, The Rise and Fall of Nitro by Guy Evans, Tony. If you’re going to come out and compare yourself to Ted Turner, which is laughable, and say things like that, read the book, you’ll not embarrass yourself quite as badly. I thought that statement really made Tony look childish, uninformed.
“I know he’s a brilliant guy and I like Tony, he’s doing a lot of things right but when he comes out publicly and says these stupid things. He’s coming off like a dirt sheet writer. That might serve your internet wrestling audience but it’s not doing a damn thing for your ratings.”
This wasn’t the only advice Eric Bischoff has given Tony Khan, as he also recently said the AEW President should “shut up and wrestle”.
H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the above transcription.