Eric Bischoff spoke with the Generation of Wrestling podacsat and he gave his thoughts on the new NXT 2.0. Bischoff said that he feels NXT is having an ‘Identity Crisis’:
“WWE does live action television production better than any production company on the planet. Kevin Dunn is the Rembrandt of television production and that’s a fantastic thing in many respects, but, in my opinion, it’s overproduced. I think people that watch wrestling, and I believe this when I launched Nitro, it’s one of the reasons why I went live is because there’s a certain, it’s almost subconscious when you’re watching live television that consciously you know that anything can happen because it’s live and bad sh*t sometimes happens on live TV, and that’s what makes it fun to watch.
When the show is overproduced to the point that it looks like you’re watching a movie, you lose that connection. You no longer feel like you’re sitting there in the rafters watching a live show. You feel like you’re sitting in a movie theatre watching a movie about wrestling and it changes the way you relate to it. It’s the difference between listening to a live concert at home on television and being there. When you’re there, you get a different feel than you do when you’re sitting at home. Same music, same artist, same staging, same everything, but you’re not as connected to it. Because WWE tends to produce their stuff so well, it distances themselves from the audience, whereas when you look at AEW, it’s great television production, don’t get me wrong, I’m not being critical of it. I think it’s better production in my opinion for the wrestling fan than WWE because you kind of feel like you’re there. That’s the whole idea, at least in my opinion at least, is to produce a show that allows the person sitting at home on their couch, eating a piece of pizza and drinking a beer, to feel like they’re actually in the arena. A little bit of grit goes a long way as opposed to polish.
I think what I’m seeing thus far, and we don’t know yet because NXT 2.0 is new at this point, but I think NXT 2.0 is having an identity crisis. I think deep down inside, there are people that know, hey, we just have to go back and be a little gritty and it needs to have an edge. It can’t be so pretty. It can’t be so WWE in order for it to have it’s own identity. It needs to be different from the RAW and SmackDown product. What I’m seeing so far is a tendency to lean into the RAW and SmackDown product in terms of its presentation, which if I’m right, and I could be wrong, I hope I am, but if I’m right, it will just further distance the audience away from NXT because they want something different. They don’t want a lesser version of RAW or a smaller version of SmackDown. They want something that is unique. Until NXT 2.0 or 3.0 or 4.0 creates that unique relationship with the audience by being a little different, I think they’re swimming upstream.”
Click below to listen to the audio from Bischoff's interview.