The emergence of All Elite Wrestling as potential competition for WWE has led many insiders to speculate that Vince McMahon’s company has plans to counteract the upstart promotion before it becomes a threat. As The Inquisitr previously reported, WWE might use the NXT brand to compete directly against AEW’s upcoming weekly show, which is set to air on TNT in October.
The latest development, however, suggests WWE wants to cut off one of AEW’s main platforms. Citing the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Wrestling Inc. is reporting that WWE is in talks to purchase FITE TV, a streaming platform that hosts pay-per-views and events put on by several wrestling and combat sports promotions.
In addition to AEW shows, FITE TV’s partners include Ring of Honor, New Japan Pro Wrestling, Major League Wrestling, Impact Wrestling, Championship Wrestling from Hollywood and several other independent and foreign companies. Should WWE acquire the streaming service, the company can force the majority of its main competitors to find a new home for their big shows.
However, there’s been some speculation that AEW won’t stream on FITE TV much longer anyway. WarnerMedia — the entity that owns TNT and AEW’s American distribution — is launching its own streaming service in 2020. While there’s been no official word yet if AEW will stream on the service, it’s very possible that its pay-per-views will air exclusively on the new platform.
At the time of this writing, we can only guess what WWE’s plans are for the platform — if they even manage to complete the acquisition. The company’s storied history of trying to monopolize the wrestling industry and hurt its competition suggests this is another move on WWE’s part to reassert its dominance.
At the same time, there’s no way of telling right now if they even want the service to stop airing shows by the competition.
????️Now available, the FITE DVR!! Never miss a moment again. Want to go back and re-watch something while it's live? NOW YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO DO SO!
????#BKFC7 is a great FREE event to use this feature!!
— FITE (@FiteTV) August 8, 2019
The future is going to be interesting in the world of professional wrestling. While fans will be excited to see two major companies airing shows on mainstream television networks, there’s probably going to be some maneuvering by executives behind the scenes to undercut their competition whenever possible.
AEW claims to be an “alternative” to WWE, and one that has no interest in competing against the big dogs. However, McMahon’s company clearly doesn’t feel the same way.
As The Inquisitr reported last week, the WWE chairman referred to AEW at a recent conference, while throwing shade at the promotion by suggesting it’s “gory crap.” If a company is on the boss’ radar, it means he’s taking its existence very seriously.