Eric Bischoff, the former Executive Director of WWE Smackdown, has revealed that WWE writers would watch and discuss AEW programming during meetings.
Appearing on the AEW YouTube channel to discuss Fight for the Fallen with AEW CEO Tony Khan and podcast host Conrad Thompson, Bischoff said: "One of the things that I think has distinguished [AEW] from anybody else, even when I was with WWE last year, I sat down and watched both shows side-by-side and I was working with WWE at the time and I was watching it in a writer’s conference room with a bunch of other writers".
According to Bischoff, who was also one time the President of WCW, he noticed that AEW were ahead of WWE in terms of production: "One of the first things that I noticed was that [AEW] is handling the production so much better. When I watched the show during COVID, the way they’re shooting the show, it’s tighter, [they] embrace the venue instead of camouflaging it. Somebody asked ‘What did you think?’. I told him what I thought. [AEW] feels more like live TV and feels gritty enough to convince me it’s live. It feels gritty enough to feel like it’s live".
Bischoff was brought back to WWE in large part to act as an intermediary between WWE and Fox ahead of Smackdown's move to the channel in the fall of 2019.
He was ultimately fired and replaced by Bruce Prichard on October 15, just a few months into his run.