On his "83 Weeks" podcast, Eric Bischoff gave his thoughts on last week's AEW Rampage and he gave his thoughts on what the show needs to grow the audience.
Bischoff talking about Eddie Kingston's segment with CM Punk on this past week’s AEW Rampage:
“I asked you (Conrad Thompson). I said, good promo. Ok, we lit the fuse, but I wasn’t clear why we were lighting that fuse. Why did Eddie react the way he reacted? What I said to you was, ‘Look, all of the really hardcore fans, the audience that AEW already has, probably knows the backstory just like you did because you had to explain it to me. But if the other 98 million people that are floating around out there looking for something to watch on TV, or whatever the number is, don’t know that, and they just happen to pop in because they wanted to see what all the noise was about who use to watch wrestling 5,10,15,20,25 years ago, and, ‘Man I heard about this big thing, what is going on, I want to see what it’s all about.’ If AEW doesn’t do a great job of telling that story to the uninformed as opposed to just assuming that those that know, know, probably will not live up to their potential. My advice is to tell stories. Don’t just put on matches for the sake of matches. Do not just entertain the hardcore community or the internet wrestling community. They’re an important part of the community, no doubt about it, but they’re not the only part. You have to tell stories that appeal to the masses, not to the few if you want to be popular with the masses.”
Bischoff said Rampage needs to have storylines in their show to grow the audience:
“You need to build episodic TV. Just because backstage you’re calling whatever it is you're involved in a storyline, doesn’t mean it’s structured as such. It doesn’t mean it’s building anticipation, not the way that it could or should. That’s what it’s going to take. That’s the one thing within Tony’s control on a Friday night. You can’t constantly create surprises because it’s a taped show. It’s in a horrible time slot. It just is what it is. The only thing that’s in Tony’s control is to capitalize on the episodic nature of what makes wrestling work. Wrestling has always worked best when it was extremely episodic, and it was extremely episodic because the stories were well constructed and structured. They built in a predictable manner that allowed you to build and promote your show. That’s what episodic TV does. But when you’re just putting up really cool matches each and every week for a really cool match sake, that’s not episodic TV, and you’re not building your audience as a result. You’re going to get what you’re going to get. Sometimes you’re going to get a good audience and sometimes you won't. Sometimes you’re going to get a great audience when nothing else is going on, other times you’ll get crushed because you haven’t built in the need or the must see component of that driver in your audience that keeps them coming back each and every week.”