Nearly 20 years after WCW went defunct, it looks as though WWE is ready to start up another wrestling war - this time with the new AEW promotion.
AEW has only put on two pay-per-view events thus far, and they haven't even started their weekly broadcasts yet. But with deep-pocketed owners, proven leadership in place (Cody and Brandi Rhodes, along with Matt and Nick Jackson) and a star-studded roster, AEW promises to be a serious business rival and threat to WWE.
Of course, WWE remains the top wrestling promotion in the world, and it's going to be a while until AEW challenges Vince McMahon the way WCW did over 20 years ago - if AEW can even get that far.
And it sounds like Vince and WWE have a big plan in place to make sure AEW never becomes a legitimate threat. Dave Meltzer explained on Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Ringside News), explained that WWE plans to "counter" all the big moves AEW makes:
"Knowing Vince they’re gonna do a counter for the TV and look, they just did a counter for the show on the 13th, they’re gonna counter every move. That’s just how it’s gonna be. It’s a war and you know, Vince gets interested in wars and (AEW) is gonna have to fight back because if it’s a one-sided, you know if they just sit there and keep taking it, you know they’ll be like every other promotion.
I don’t wanna say that (AEW) doesn’t have money, because they have money, but in the end you can bully, but the way to be the bully is gonna be who’s more clever and it’s all up to their cleverness. I mean they did do the cease and desist thing so they’re gonna have to pull a lot of cease and desist things out of their brains to counter this or they won’t."
As Meltzer noted, AEW has its Fight for the Fallen event next Saturday at Daily's Place in Jacksonville, Florida. But WWE has already responded by scheduling the Evolve 131 event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The show will be on WWE Network as will, so that will most certainly affect some of AEW's viewership numbers. It should be noted that AEW's August event, All Out, takes place on the 31st in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. WWE has its NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff event booked for the same day.
WWE brought major changes to its product this week with Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff taking over as Executive Directors for Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live, respectively. With these two leading the way, it'll be interesting to see what other "counter moves" WWE makes in order to stay well ahead of AEW.
What This Means
WWE and WCW went to war by airing their respective programs on Monday nights, and the two companies would fire shots at each other on television as well. WWE has done that numerous times now, and it won't be long until AEW starts doing it on their programming as well. Indeed, the new wrestling war is just getting started.