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Tony Khan responds to Eric Bischoff, says Bischoff ran guys like Chris Jericho and Eddie Guerrero out of WCW

On today’s Busted Open Radio, Tony Khan responded to the comments Eric Bischoff recently made that Khan should “shut up and wrestle”:

“I really like Eric, and I was kind of surprised by Eric’s comments because they were coming from Eric Bischoff. Eric Bischoff is probably the last person that anybody would expect to say that a president of a wrestling company should be quiet. When it comes to head to head competition, we were in a head to head competition this past week. It was only 30 minutes and I didn’t ask for it. We were in our time slot and somebody came into our time slot aggressively. It wasn’t the first time they made a pretty aggressive move like that. We generally responded pretty well and have been very successful.”

“I was amused by Eric’s comments. I like Eric when we’re together, but this is the ultimate example of glass houses in some ways knowing how Eric conducted himself when he was the president of WCW. He did ask for that head to head competition. I think he said publicly that I should be going for that, but I don’t decide when the shows are on. This time slot, we looked at a couple different slots, and this is one they thought would do well and I was very supportive of because it allowed for there to be a really good block of wrestling on Friday night. I knew there would be a good amount of people watching wrestling on Friday anyway, and effectively a way for people to watch everything in one night. When we got the head to head competition, I thought we needed to respond. I think we needed to win and we did. I was surprised that the competition was going to be commercial free. I wasn’t able to go completely, after talking to TNT without them, but I was able to get it scheduled to where we could do Punk vs Sydal commercial free, but I thought what was even more impressive given that I was forced to take a couple breaks. It was really great of TNT to work with us, I thought, on short notice to push a break back so that we could have that match uninterrupted. To me, it’s not up to us when the show is on. In this case, somebody moved aggressively into our time slot, and it was really important for us to do a good number and win the night, and we did.  I really wanted to rally the fans and put some attention on it. I really believed we were going to win, and we did. We did really well in the demo which is the thing that advertisers and the TV networks use to rate the shows. I know TNT was over the moon and very excited about how we did.”

“For Eric Bischoff, of all people, the guy who got lowered down on a motorcycle from a ceiling, a guy who challenged Vince McMahon to fight him, to say that somebody should be quiet is laughable. Eric is doing an act and I respect it but let’s be serious. Eric used to be a wrestling company executive and now he is a commentator, and as a commentator, he’s trying to stir up controversy. I think it would be pretty naive of anybody to look at this and not examine that the person talking is Eric Bischoff who’s the most outspoken wrestling executive of all time and somebody who got a lot of heat. If we’re going to be honest, the things I’m trying to do in terms of balancing these great stars we have like CM Punk, Chris Jericho, Bryan Danielson, and people who have come in with years of experience and they have lots of time on television as a big TV wrestling star. Then we have the people that have emerged here and have become TV wrestling stars in AEW like Kenny Omega, Hangman Page, and The Young Bucks. You also have a whole crew of people that are the young stars. A lot of them are becoming young, established stars on TV too. Whether it’s MJF, Britt Baker, Sammy Guevara, Jungle Boy, and so many others, Darby Allin in particular, these are stars I’m committed to keeping in AEW and not losing and building around. When Eric said, ‘Focus on the wrestling’, I am focused on the wrestling, pushing these people, and not running them out of the company like Chris Jericho who couldn’t get out of WCW fast enough. Eddie Guerrero was put in his place. The wrestlers were told by their boss that there were only three guys in the company, when Eric said that only Hogan, Savage, and Piper were the only three guys who had ever drawn money, of course, a slap in the face to a few other people in the room. But also, what does that say for the morale of the young wrestlers who are busting their a**es every week?  It just doesn’t make sense.”

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Busted Open Radio with a h/t to for the transcription. Busted Open Radio can be heard on SiriusXM’s Fight Nation (Channel 156), Monday through Saturday from 9 am to Noon eastern.

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