With All Elite Wrestling being the new kid on the block, there’s a lot of excitement surrounding Tony Khan’s promotion. With a weekly show set to premiere on TNT this fall, many are speculating that the company will provide viable competition to WWE — the company that’s dominated the wrestling industry for almost 20 years.
At the same time, it’s worth remembering that Rome wasn’t built in a day. WWE has been around for decades and remained successful over time. While AEW has the potential to become a massive player in the game, it remains to be seen how much interest there will be in the product years from now.
That doesn’t mean WWE isn’t taking their new competition seriously, though. Citing Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Wrestling Rumors reports that Vince McMahon started treating the company as a threat after discovering that their Double or Nothing pay-per-view sold out in under 30 minutes — in Las Vegas of all places.
According to the report, WWE has struggled to sell out Las Vegas shows throughout the years, so a brand new promotion being able to attract a packed house to the MGM Grand Garden Arena — which hosts 11,000 bodies — is a noteworthy accomplishment.
Given its historic status as the first event of its kind, there was a lot of interest in AEW’s inaugural show among wrestling fans. But it was also a critically acclaimed event that gave fans plenty of reason to stick around, and the company has continued to garner momentum with subsequent shows.
As The Inquisitr noted, McMahon has vocally acknowledged the upstart promotion by referring to it as “blood and guts” entertainment — something that WWE used to be associated with, only to abandon it when they entered the current PG era.
Per The Inquisitr, the WWE chairman understands the appeal of this kind of wrestling, however, which is why he reportedly wants to make Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live edgier, albeit without the bloodstained elements that are synonymous with his company’s Attitude Era.
On top of that, as The Inquisitr reported today, there’s also talk of NXT receiving a two-hour slot and jumping from the WWE Network to the USA Network to directly compete against AEW’s weekly show on a Wednesday night.
It’s clear that the existence of AEW has had a knock-on effect in WWE, and it’ll be interesting to see where the future pro wrestling landscape is headed as a result. If the new company takes off, we might have another war on our hands.