Eric Bischoff Take: Tony Khan Impact on AEW Identity and the Focus on Brand Integrity



by ATIA MUKHTAR

Eric Bischoff Take: Tony Khan Impact on AEW Identity and the Focus on Brand Integrity

Eric Bischoff's recent remarks have once again ignited a debate within the wrestling community, this time revolving around AEW President Tony Khan's handling of the CM Punk situation. In a recent episode of his "Strictly Business with Eric Bischoff" podcast, the esteemed Hall of Famer acknowledged AEW's commendable avoidance of over-reliance on a single star, yet his criticism towards Punk and Khan's management was palpable.

Bischoff underscored the importance of a wrestling brand over any individual performer, drawing a contrast to WWE's approach. He voiced support for AEW's decision not to tether their success to a sole superstar. He opined, "It's the brand that people are buying into, not any one person.

I no longer think that's the way to do business." However, his praise for AEW's strategy was swiftly overshadowed by his unreserved condemnation of CM Punk. Not one to mince words, Bischoff labeled Punk as overrated and unprofessional, expressing reservations about the value Khan attached to the former AEW World Champion.

He contended that Punk's return exacerbated the situation and likened it to introducing a "cancer" into the company. He faulted Khan for giving Punk too much control, suggesting that instead of confining Punk's role to a performer, he was handed excessive influence.

Drawing from his own past experiences, Bischoff empathized with Khan's predicament, recalling his own clash with wrestling legend Ric Flair during his time leading WCW. He advised Khan to embrace leadership and anticipate a challenging journey ahead.

"It's going to get worse before it gets better," Bischoff cautioned, drawing parallels to his own decision to take legal action against Flair due to a dispute.

Promoting Brand Unity Amidst Differences

Bischoff emphasized that professional wrestlers bear the responsibility of contributing to the brand's growth, even if it entails collaborating with individuals they may not personally favor.

He posited that every job involves tasks or colleagues one may not enjoy working with, and likened the wrestling industry to any other field in this regard. Reflecting on his extensive career, Bischoff highlighted that respectful cooperation is key to success, even when personal preferences differ.

He advocated for wrestlers to focus on advancing the brand collectively and to transcend individual differences for the greater good. In recent weeks, a string of issues involving Punk within AEW has come to light. Reports of strained interactions between Punk and fellow wrestlers Jack Perry and Ryan Nemeth have surfaced.

Despite Punk's willingness to mend bridges with The Elite, internal management reportedly thwarted those efforts. As the wrestling world dissects Bischoff's pointed commentary, the ongoing dynamic between CM Punk, AEW, and Tony Khan remains a subject of fervent discussion, prompting questions about the balance between individual star power and the larger brand narrative in professional wrestling.

Eric Bischoff Tony Khan Aew