'I used Shaquille O'Neal for the first time in wrestling in 1994' - Veteran says AEW is not using new ideas (Exclusive)

Shaquille O'Neal.
Shaquille O'Neal.
Lennard Surrao

SK Wrestling's Riju Dasgupta recently interviewed Eric Bischoff, and the former WCW executive spoke in length about AEW, the rumored second TV show of the company, and comparison with WWE.

Eric Bischoff had some important advice for Tony Khan, and he also spoke about the problems with the recent celebrity appearances in AEW.

All Elite Wrestling has brought in Shaquille O'Neal, Snoop Dogg, and Mike Tyson for special appearances. Eric Bischoff explained that the celebrities mentioned above have all been used before in pro wrestling, which takes away the novelty of their involvement with All Elite Wrestling.

Bischoff pointed out that he used Shaq for the first time in wrestling in 1994. Shaq was at the Bash at the Beach PPV in 1994 to present the winner of Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair with the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.

WWE has also had Mike Tyson, Snoop Dogg, and O'Neal on their programming before. The former Executive Director of SmackDown highlighted these appearances and stressed the importance of why AEW needs a unique direction for its product.

"The more they try to compete with WWE and doing some of the same things that WWE is doing, for example, Shaquille O'Neal. I used Shaquille O'Neal for the very first time in wrestling in 1994. You know, Snoop Dogg has been around for a long time, and he has done a lot of things in WWE. He's in the WWE Hall of Fame. So, that's nothing new. I would look for; I would advise AEW to find new ways and different ways that haven't been done before to establish themselves."

Look for a new way to grow the audience: Eric Bischoff's message to AEW

AEW Stars with Shaq.
AEW Stars with Shaq.

While Eric Bischoff had no problem with the celebrity appearances, he still advised AEW to look for other ways to grow its audience. Bischoff believed that AEW needed to create their own identity, and using celebrities who have appeared for other promotions in the past is not a new plan.

"And if they are going to use celebrities, that's great. I'm a big believer in using celebrities but using Mike Tyson, who was, you know, in WWE back in 1997, or whatever it was, 1998, and then using Shaquille O'Neal, who I used in 1994. Using Snoop Dogg, who has already been exposed quite a bit on WWE. Those aren't new ideas. So, I would advise them to manage their own expectations, develop their own identity, and to look for a new way of presenting the product. Look for a new way to grow the audience as opposed to trying to replicate formulas that worked in the past."

Do you agree with Eric Bischoff's point about the recent celebrities appearing in AEW? Let us know your opinions in the comments section, and don't miss out on Eric Bischoff's 83 Weeks podcast on

If any quotes are used from this article, please add a H/T to SK Wrestling.

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Edited by Lennard Surrao


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