• WCW Legend On Whether AEW Signing CM Punk Will Change The Wrestling Landscape
On a recent episode of his weekly ’83 Weeks’ podcast, Old School WCW Legend Eric Bischoff talked about the rumors of All Elite Wrestling signing former WWE Superstar CM Punk.
Here’s what the 2021 WWE Hall of Famer had to say:
“Obviously [CM Punk signing with AEW] will be a massive shot in the arm, it will be a huge step forward. If it happens. I’m a big proponent of surprise, I have such a high level in the long term benefit of establishing yourself as a platform that creates surprises on a consistent basis and CM Punk would be a great opportunity had it been just a surprise.
But, I’m also a big advocate of creating anticipation. What AEW has done a great job of doing is creating anticipation and we’re seeing the results of that manifest with ticket sales so good on them, as long as he shows up.
I wouldn’t want to be in the office the next day if the CM Punk thing is not a reality. Now I don’t believe that it is not a reality, I do believe it is a reality, so the risk here I’m almost laughing about and talking about is because it is laughable. I don’t think that anybody, especially a guy like Tony Khan, who is a smart guy and surrounded by smart people, would walk this far out on the plank only to know they’re not going to deliver. I think what they’ve done has been pretty artful and pretty well done and I think it’s going to portend big things in the future.
Will it change the landscape? I don’t know what the landscape means. Will it change the balance of power between WWE and AEW in terms of market share? Not in terms of subjective opinion because nobody gives a f**k about that. Market share is what people should be considering and thinking about in this war and when we talk about things like landscape.
Do I think it will change the landscape? I think it will for a while. I think it can in the long term depend on a lot of things. How do they use Punk? How often is he available, is he once a year, twice a year, four times a year attraction or is he part of weekly storylines? Those are all things we don’t know, none of us do.
In the short term it’s going to have a major impact because I think a lot of fans that are WWE fans are going to sample AEW who perhaps haven’t sampled AEW yet. Punk could be the solution and the silver bullet for them yet because if 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 committed to in the long term, then yes I think it can have a pretty substantial impact on market share.
I wouldn’t put him in a hot angle right away. I wouldn’t hot shot it, I would want to continue to build on the successful anticipation element that AEW has built upon. I wouldn’t drag it out for 6 months but I like the idea of Punk, especially because he can talk, coming in on commentary, stirring the sh*t and building upon that for a couple of weeks and then eventually have a spontaneous combustible moment and then leads to a wrestling storyline. That’s probably what I would do. Not because Punk needs to acclimate or ring rust, those things can all be addressed.
If Punk wants to be ready for a main event match in 60 days or 30 days, he’ll get there. Will he be at his peak? Probably not but that’s okay, CM Punk if he’s 90% or 80% of his peak capabilities that will be just fine.
There isn’t any risk of exposing him too soon in a hot angle, I just think that you’re squandering the value of anticipation and the story to create must see TV in the sense that ‘Will it happen this week?’ You’ve got 3 or 4 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.”
CM Punk left the WWE in 2014, when he was let go by the company after he refused to come to work for several weeks, and eventually made the transition into the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, but lost both of his UFC fights without even standing a little bit of a chance.
WATCH: AJ Lee’s (CM Punk’s Wife) Wardrobe Malfunction In WWE:
• Old School WWF Referee Celebrates His Birthday
Old School WWF Referee Bill Alfonso (Real name: William Sierra) turns 64 today.
After working as a referee for the World Wrestling Federation during the early 90s, Bill Alfonso joined Paul Heyman’s ECW Extreme Championship Wrestling promotion in 1995 and soon became a manager, managing the likes of Taz, Sabu & “RVD” Rob Van Dam.
The last time we saw him was during the ECW One Night Stand 2005 & 2006 PPVs, as well as the TNA Hardcore Justice 2010 PPV. All 3 were ECW Tribute shows.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BILL ALFONSO!