Things have been going downhill aplenty for WWE in 2019, and the rise of the new AEW promotion has only complicated matters for Vince McMahon and company officials.
Ratings have been on the decline in WWE so far this year, and the promotion is coming off a rough week in regards to attendance figures. The Stomping Grounds pay-per-view event and Monday Night Raw drew extremely low attendance numbers, and this came after WWE experienced low viewership for both Raw and SmackDown Live.
These are among the many concerns for WWE as Fox prepares to take over the SmackDown broadcasts in the fall. If that wasn't bad enough, WWE's investors are now worried about the rise of AEW.
Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Ringside News) explained:
"You know the stock market is starting to figure out that things aren’t good. I mean in their minds Vince is the guy, he knows everything about wrestling and he knows what to do and they got this great television deal obviously and when they go on Fox it’s going to be a boom period and now there’s concern.
There’s concern about AEW, you know, but the big concern is the falling numbers from the last quarter started a concern, I mean the stock price did drop.
Now people are watching closer and they’re kinda seeing that it looks like it’s falling even more and you know you need new stuff to tell the stock people. That’s why they’re bringing in guys."
Unfortunately for WWE, there just aren't any signs that things are about to get better any time soon. Ratings have been steadily declining this year, and Meltzer recently suggested that many WWE superstars "are counting the days" until their contracts expire - with many of them having their eyes set on AEW. This has forced WWE to hand out lengthy five-year deals to many of their superstars (such as Jinder Mahal and Kevin Owens), in order to ensure they don't leave for AEW.
It's also been suggested that many inside WWE are getting frustrated with Vince's refusal to change things, including scripted promos. On top of that, it was reported by Wade Keller of PW Torch in May that the WWE chairman refused to listen to ideas from anybody - including his own children, Triple H and Bruce Prichard.
What This Means
Things are certainly tense in WWE right now, and Vince has to find a way to please his investors and Fox executives as they prepare to take over SmackDown broadcasts. Things continue to get worse in WWE, while AEW is already off to an excellent start. Right now, it looks like we're headed for a second version of the Monday Night Wars.