On the recent episode of "AEW Collision," Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF) successfully retained his AEW World Championship belt in a high-octane match against Kenny Omega. Initially confirmed on October 25 during "AEW Dynamite," this title match quickly caught the attention of fans and critics alike.
However, industry veteran Eric Bischoff took issue with the scheduling of the showdown, questioning its timing and lack of promotional buildup on his "83 Weeks" podcast. "AEW, under Tony Khan, of course, has an obligation to its network clients as much as its audience.
However, pitting MJF and Omega against each other on a Saturday night, without prior promotion, especially when up against Game 2 of the World Series and college football, is a baffling decision," Bischoff opined.
Bischoff further criticized the match for lacking a compelling narrative, essentially serving as a standalone spectacle with no buildup.
"I'm not knocking AEW for showcasing a title match on live TV," he clarified. "My issue lies in the inadequate planning that undermines what could have been a ratings goldmine. You're setting yourself up for failure against that kind of mainstream sporting competition." This landmark match marked the inaugural bout between MJF and Omega within the AEW framework, a matchup that many insiders deem pay-per-view worthy.
Consequently, Bischoff's critique could be a poignant wake-up call for the AEW management to reevaluate its programming strategies. In a recent development, MJF's next title defense has been announced against Jay White of the Bullet Club Gold, slated for the upcoming Full Gear pay-per-view on November 18.
Sources indicate that the AEW creative team is planning a more elaborate storyline for this match, possibly taking cues from Bischoff's critiques. As the wrestling community continues to debate the wisdom of AEW's programming choices, one thing remains clear: with competition not just within the wrestling sphere but also from mainstream sports, AEW needs to bring its A-game in marketing and storytelling to stand out in the saturated entertainment landscape.
Whether they heed Bischoff's advice remains to be seen, but as the stakes continue to rise, so too does the need for strategic planning.