Twitter causes a lot of storylines nowadays. Good Brother Rob decides to tackle the bubbling WWE and AEW tension.
Before I get going, I blurted out a lot of this on my twitter feed on Wednesday so if you follow me you may have seen a lot of it already. But for the uninitiated (thank you, Bane) here’s what’s going down. WWE announced that the Evolve 10th anniversary show will now be carried on the WWE Network. No big deal except for the fact that it runs at the same time as AEW’s Fight for the Fallen, which makes this a (very mild I must say) shot fired at the new kids on the block. And one Kenneth Omega got upset about it and fired off a few tweets expressing his indignation at the WWE trying to undermine an event they’re doing for charity. To which I say, boo f@@ing hoo.
First off, Kenneth, the AEW show is in Florida and the Evolve show is in Philadelphia. I sincerely doubt anyone who was going to go to your show or was thinking about it is going to pass so they can fly or drive up to Philly for the Evolve show. Second, if anyone wants to donate to the charity they still can while watching one show, both of them, or neither one. And lastly, AEW is streaming it for free so watching it wasn’t going to help anything anyway. AEW and their charitable cause is not losing one dollar from this; don’t let them fool you into thinking that any ticket or money raising issues they may have are because of the Evolve show because they aren’t. The Evolve show will undoubtedly cut into the live views of their shows, even if it’s just by a couple of thousand, but it’s still not costing them any money because they’re showing it for free.
And this leads to me ask a real question: Do you guys want to fight or not? Because for weeks and weeks you said you didn’t, but then once Double or Nothing got closer and closer you changed your tune and decided to get hostile. Now maybe you succumbed to peer pressure from your most rabid fans on social media or the wrestling media which gives you guys such favorable coverage, or maybe you’d planned to get hostile all along. But either way, did you really think the WWE wouldn’t fight back? And if so, did you really think it was going to just going to be snarky comments in some TV promos and not something more substantive? Because if you did then you guys have no idea what you walked into and that’s just pathetic.
I’m a Wrestling Twitter OG; I saw the Monday Night Wars but I also saw the WWF vs Jim Crockett and everyone else War in the 80s. And I have to say that based on what happened then, if WWE decides this thing is a war it’s going to be ugly. What’s happening with the Evolve show is nothing, and if AEW’s people in charge and their biggest fans are going to get bent out of shape over this then this thing isn’t going to last very long. Because there’s plenty more that the WWE can do to mess with AEW’s success. Things like:
- Running the occasional live NXT on a Wednesday night against AEW’s TNT broadcast. Whether it’s doing a Takeover lite or showcasing the newer people they’ve recently signed, almost all of whom came from the same indies as much of AEW’s roster, this is something easy to do and will probably be put in motion very quickly.
- Running special network events on the same night as AEW PPVs, be they NXT Takeovers, house show broadcasts, or something else entirely. Given the choice between watching a card on the Network that you already paid for (or are getting for free because you’re on the trial period) and shelling out another $50 for an AEW pay per view, a lot of people are going to choose the cheaper option.
- Signing away AEW wrestlers. What’s that? Nobody could possibly want to leave AEW for the sinking ship and backstage hellhole that WWE is? Right…….. A year from now, when AEW has been on TV for a while and is facing the same issues getting everyone on TV as every other wrestling company does, some of their guys and gals will be ripe for the picking and ready to take an NXT deal over sticking it out in AEW and hoping for the best. You may think that will never happen but there was a time when it looked like no one would leave WCW to go to the sinking ship that was the WWF either. Then Chris Jericho got tired of playing second fiddle to Goldberg and the NWO. Then Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Perry Saturn, and Dean Malenko all bolted a year later. Every company has more people than they have TV time and some of those extra people eventually leave. And with the case of those names I mentioned, every company has a hierarchy and there are always people who believe (quite often correctly) they should be higher up on the totem pole than they are. Those folks don’t stick around forever just because you’re the new cool kids.
Now that’s just a few things I thought or heard of today. Understand that during the previous wars Vince created entire new events just to draw attention and money away from Crockett’s shows. Survivor Series and the Royal Rumble were created strictly to cut into or majorly derail Crockett’s first forays into pay per view. Crockett retaliated by creating Clash of the Champions and running it on regular cable TV opposite WrestleMania IV. They fought over buildings, towns, you name it. It was not cordial, it was ugly as hell, and Vince did not fight fair then so you shouldn’t expect him to do it now. He’s gonna leverage every possible advantage he has to bleed them dry. Remember, AEW is relying on pay per view buys, ticket sales, and merch sales directly. They don’t get any TV money and they don’t have Saudi shows bringing tens of millions of dollars every year. They’re not owned by the network like Ring of Honor so they have no backstop if the receipts aren’t what they should be. Just a little chunk taken out of what they hope to be bringing in could be enough to make the numbers look bad enough to make the Khan family reconsider this whole thing. You don’t even have to beat them or outdraw them on the same night, you just need to take enough off the top to hurt them.
So my question to all of you, both AEW diehards and the people on the inside, do you really want a war? Because that’s not about smashing thrones with sledgehammers, it’s not about likes and RTs, and it’s not about overly friendly coverage from wrestling media. It sure seems like Kenny Omega didn’t expect this kind of thing to happen, and he wasn’t ready for it. It sure seems like they thought they would get to take endless digs at WWE on Being the Elite and their pay per view shows, get the wrestling media to parrot their message in exchange for access, and ride to victory on a wave social media support while WWE sat there and took it or lamely and unsuccessfully tried to fight back. But well, somebody done told them wrong. There are other wrestling companies that stay in their lane, do well enough to stay open, and don’t get any static from the Evil Empire. But you guys chose a different route, the Eric Bischoff Way, except that Eric knew he was gonna get hit back and he took it like someone who understood the game he was playing. I suggest you guys wise up and toughen up or this might be over before it starts.