wrestling / News

Notes On Whether Or Not WWE Actually Views AEW As Competition Backstage

October 15, 2021 | Posted by Joseph Lee
Vince McMahon WWE Smackdown

Yesterday in an interview with the New York Post, AEW President Tony Khan spoke about going head to head with WWE and his belief that both companies are worth more if they’re directly competing with each other. He also brought up the fact that WWE will be losing money by going ad-free for the final half-hour of Smackdown tonight, which competes with AEW Rampage.

He said: “If you want to take the commercials out of it, I can do that too. It doesn’t seem very civil but I have more money than they do so I can afford to do that longer than they can. But that’s how we make money at the end of the day, so I was surprised when they took those out.

This led to some notes from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter about the perception of AEW in WWE and whether or not the company truly views AEW as competition. When asked before, WWE executives have said they’re in competition “with everyone” and not Khan’s company specifically. Vince McMahon noted that AEW wasn’t competition in the same way that WCW was.

However in the Observer, it was noted that the head-to-head may have been due to an article in Variety showing AEW Dynamite was closing the gap against WWE RAW and even beat it twice in 18-49. It was noted that the perception within WWE is that Tony Khan will spend and lose so much money trying to compete that they have a “rope-a-dope” strategy against him. There is even reportedly talk among people at the top, similar to during the Monday Night Wars, that this battle is “unfair” to them because they “have” to make money while AEW doesn’t.

So far, people in WWE have downplayed the successes of AEW based on the fact he “overspent” to get where he is. Khan has said that AEW would have been profitable in 2021 if not for the upcoming console video game, and they will almost assuredly be profitable in 2022. There were reportedly internal comments made to McMahon about how they “beat Ted Turner and Ted Turner is smarter than Tony Khan.”

article topics :

AEW, WWE, Joseph Lee