For the first time since WCW's demise in 2001, WWE will be engaging in a serious wrestling war - this time with the new AEW promotion.
AEW has performed four pay-per-view events thus far, with the last one (All Out) taking place this past Saturday. On Oct. 2, AEW will launch its weekly television program which'll take place on Wednesday nights.
In order to compete with AEW's weekly show, WWE revealed their plans to move NXT over to the Wednesday night slot under USA Network. Soon enough, the "Wednesday Night War" will take off.
Wrestling fans all across the world will be blessed with plenty of wrestling programs to watch throughout the week: Raw on Mondays, SmackDown on Fridays and of course their choice of AEW or NXT on Wednesdays.
But current UFC fighter and former WWE superstar CM Punk explained at Starrcast III why fans shouldn't choose a side in the Wednesday wars. Rather, the former WWE Champion believes fans need to simply embrace the wrestling product.
"Realize that you can watch all of the (expletive) that’s out there," Punk said, according to Ringside News. "Don’t let either company trick you into thinking it’s an us vs them thing, just enjoy the wrestling. Whether it’s WWE or AEW or NXT you guys don’t have to choose, you can (expletive) watch it all. That’s rad."
Superstars and executives on both sides have also downplayed the idea of this being a wrestling war. Chris Jericho referred to NXT as the "minor leagues," and said "there is no war for" him.
After All Out, The Young Bucks said they knew WWE would counter with the move to NXT, and Matt Jackson emphasized that AEW has to focus on themselves without worrying about the rival company. And finally, Triple H said he doesn't "approach" NXT's move to Wednesday nights "as a competitive thing," while adding that WWE will "put on our shows when we need to put them on."
So no matter what the general wrestling universe has to say, AEW and NXT don't want you to think of this as a war. But no matter what either company says, you know they're all determined to outdo the other in the Wednesday Night Wars.
What This Means
WWE is obviously well ahead of AEW in the early stages of the war, but as the Young Bucks emphasized, they simply have to worry about their own product. It's going to take some time for AEW to seriously challenge WWE, but they're off to an excellent start. For now, the pressure is on Triple H and the McMahon family to sustain a strong product as they try to hold off competition from AEW.