Chris Jericho has not minced his words when talking about the supposed ‘war’ between AEW and WWE.
Originally, NXT and AEW were both on Wednesday nights and the latter dominated that battle in total viewership and the coveted 18-49 demographic.
AEW won probably over 80 percent of those head-to-head battles before NXT decided to move its show to Tuesday nights.
Vince McMahon was recently asked if he saw AEW as competition at this stage and the WWE chairman rather bullishly said: “Well, it certainly is not a situation where ‘rising tides’ because that was when [WCW owner] Ted Turner was coming after us with all of Time Warner’s assets as well.
“That was a different situation. AEW is where they are. I don’t really know what their plans are, all I know is what our plans are.
“I don’t consider them competition in the way that I would consider WCW back in the day, not anywhere near close to that.”
Chris Jericho, who performed for both WCW and WWE back in the Monday Night Wars McMahon refers to, believes the WWE chairman might be telling a little lie with his analysis.
Jericho is a WWE legend, but he was the first man to sign for AEW and help the company grow. He believes AEW aren’t far off getting the TV deals WWE have.
“We don’t see WWE as competition,” Jericho told Inside The Ropes.
“The whole time with the NXT versus AEW war, which ended in a total abysmal failure for NXT. WWE is not competition for us. We’re competition for ourselves. So for Vince to say that – to me, it’s probably reverse psychology and that he does see us as competition.
“The WWE is the WWE and they have billions of dollars locked in TV deals and we are working towards that. Now when our demo ends up beating theirs and TV deals start coming in for us at the billions, then I truly think there will be a lot of competition.”
Jericho would be correct in that assumption. When AEW start to dominate the marketplace that WWE operates in and influence their primary sources of income, it’s a different ball game.
Many fans believe the tide is starting to turn on WWE and AEW are in the ascension. While they’re not the global powerhouse WWE are with decades of growth around the world, they do have a product that feels energised and alive.
WWE can’t say the same, particularly with RAW. Ultimately, the ratings and appeal will always go back to the product and WWE seem to have been losing viewers and/or fans for a while.
If AEW do indeed secure CM Punk and Daniel Bryan as they are widely expected to, those TV deals Jericho is talking about might be reality sooner rather than later.