WWE believes AEW is running a very different business than them.
Since AEW's inception in 2019, conversations have been had by fans and pundits alike comparing the upstart promotion with industry giants WWE. Though the general consensus from those within the industry has been positive, highlighting the benefits of competition, some jabs have been thrown. The most notable instance was Vince McMahon during the 2019 Q2 earning call saying that he hopes AEW doesn't continue with the "blood and guts," noting that he wasn't sure TNT would put up with that.
Now, in an exclusive statement provided to the Star, WWE commented on their competitor, referencing a bloody women’s tag-team match at AEW Rampage: New Year's Smash where Penelope Ford and The Bunny took on Tay Conti and Anna Jay.
The WWE’s statement reads: “If you look at the gory self-mutilation that bloodied several women in the December 31 event on TNT, it quickly becomes clear that these are very different businesses. We had an edgier product in the ‘Attitude’ era and in a 2022 world, we don’t believe that type of dangerous and brutal display is appealing to network partners, sponsors, venues, children, or the general public as a whole.”
AEW talents have taken some subtle and not-so-subtle shots at WWE on the air but have always maintained that they see themselves as an alternative rather than competition.
During a recent interview, Tony Khan said WWE recently contacted him about using AEW wrestlers for upcoming biographical content. Click here to learn more.