Fans wearing All Elite Wrestling merchandise were turned away from this week's SmackDown Live taping by arena security.
On Tuesday this week, All Elite Wrestling demonstrated that it really means business via a rally it held in Jacksonville outside of the Jaguars' stadium. Not only did the promotion announce a litany of talent that has already signed up, including PAC and Chris Jericho, but the date and location of AEW's first show, Double Or Nothing was revealed.
What you might not have realized until a little later on in the day, SmackDown Live was also taking place in Jacksonville. In fact, the arena WWE was calling home for the night was quite literally a five-minute walk away from where the rally took place. With that in mind, there were likely a lot of wrestling fans intending to attend both events.
However, that proved easier said than done for some. Naturally, a fair few of the fans who attended the rally opted to buy AEW merchandise. They certainly wouldn't have expected WWE to turn them away simply for wearing it, but there have been a few reports of exactly that. Two Pro Wrestling Tees employees told Pro Wrestling Sheet that security refused them entry to the arena, telling them "WWE doesn't want that in here."
Security is now allowing in AEW shirts after tossing me out for wearing one. I even offered to buy a WWE shirt and they wouldn’t allow me to. I was able to get back in through another entrance after changing pic.twitter.com/TRhGoLlWDD— Graham (@thagreenlizad) January 9, 2019
As you can see above, there is footage of one fan who was thrown out of the arena for wearing an AEW shirt, only to then be allowed in. It seems that whoever made the decision initially changed their mind. The two PWTees employees apparently returned to the arena later in the evening too and were also informed that something had changed so were then let into the show.
Bizarre behavior indeed, until you consider which promotion we are talking about. There are any number of explanations as to why the above might have happened, though. Someone mishearing a member of WWE's staff and relaying that message to security. Perhaps WWE did give the order to stop fans wearing AEW merch entering the building, only to later realize the news would get out and it would make them look extremely petty. If so, AEW will be extremely pleased that it already has Vince McMahon rattled.