According to the WWE legend, the new upstart promotion is “definitely going to be competition” for Vince McMahon’s company. Furthermore, he believes that AEW having wrestling minds working on the creative team will give the company an edge over WWE.
“[AEW is] definitely going to make one think totally different as far as the way you put a show on. I think before when you were relying on different people writing the shows — from different walks of life like sitcoms, movies or whatnot — that is cool and all but I truly believe that there are no greater minds to put together storylines than the wrestlers who actually did it.”
Booker is referring to WWE’s tendency to hire writers from outside the wrestling industry to create storylines for the company’s in-ring talent. Earlier this year, WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded a video about the creative process behind the scenes, revealing that the team is comprised of writers from different backgrounds — from reality television to Hollywood movies.
During the conversation, Booker also discussed WWE’s need to put on edgier shows. Prior to the company’s PG era, weekly programming was attracting much higher ratings, and Booker believes the recent tamer approach to proceedings has caused millions of old fans to lose interest.
That said, it remains to be seen how edgy AEW’s product will be when its weekly show airs on network television this October. As noted by Ringside News, CEO, Tony Khan, claims the rules for hardcore matches will be much different to those we have seen on its pay-per-views thus far.
Elsewhere, Khan told Chris Van Vliet that, while the shows will feature some edgy moments, they will be “advertiser friendly.” Thus, fans should not expect the next incarnation of Extreme Championship Wrestling or the infamous WWE “Attitude Era” just yet.
However, the emergence of AEW will likely inspire WWE to push the envelope. As reported by The Inquisitr, McMahon is pushing for an edgier product in a bid to appeal to teenagers.
The young fans WWE has been targeting throughout the PG years are growing up now, and the company understands the need to appeal to those viewers now that they are older.
The over-the-top bloodbaths and crude storylines are a thing of the past, but mainstream wrestling could be set for a daring renaissance all the same.