With the recent wave of social media celebrities competing in combat sports, Eric Bischoff took to his 83 Weeks podcast to give his thoughts on celebrities and wrestling.
Bischoff spoke about the enormous following online celebrities have and how their reach alone rivals, and in some instance’s trumps, the likes of WWE. He continued by highlighting how exhibition boxing events organised by the Paul brothers, YouTube stars, has shown to be highly profitable and how this philosophy translates to being an international Draw. Bischoff then elaborated by referencing Mike Tyson’s recent exhibition against Roy Jones and his crossover to AEW generating casual fan buzz.
“Don’t be surprised if we start seeing more and more and more huge social media influencers and people that you would never expect to get involved in professional wrestling stepping into the arena because they’re a bigger draw.” -Eric Bischoff via 83 Weeks
Bad Bunny then formed the crux of Bischoff’s argument as he used the hip-hop stars’ recent WWE run as the standard for this new wave of celebrity wrestling crossover. He applauded the savvy of Bunny to leverage his Wrestlemania performance into selling out his upcoming tour, taking advantage of the additional publicity and exposure to new fans he otherwise may not have reached. Yet as Bischoff explained, the partnership is mutual as WWE surely benefitted with additional eyeballs to the product from the stars enormous following.
Bischoff continued by saying “I think Bad Bunny created a template and a formula that other people are going to use and WWE, and probably AEW, are going to learn how to exploit in the best way possible.”
For instance, using Instagram followers as the preferred metric for social reach, here is how WWE stacks up with the mentioned personalities:
- Bad Bunny – 32.5 million followers
- WWE- 23.8 million followers
- Logan Paul- 19 million followers
- Jake Paul- 15 million followers
- Mike Tyson- 14.6 million followers
Bischoff then concluded with “I don’t think it’s a fad, I think you’re going to see more and more of it.”
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Quotes via 83weeks
Transcript via Fightful