During NXT's debut on USA, while fans were watching a WWE program, AEW aired a commercial on the USA and took a few fans by surprise.
We knew Wednesday night would be a war between AEW and WWE. What we didn't know was how quickly that war might start. One company didn't waste any time getting straight to the business of promoting while another company was in the process of producing a wrestling show as AEW aired a commercial for their new wrestling show on TNT. This wasn't the first time either as an AEW commerical aired during SmackDown Live on Tuesday as well.
Some will suggest this wasn't intentionally done by AEW because they would have run ads on other nights and some might say that AEW has no control over when the ads would run. Others will suggest AEW did this intentionally and only purchased the ads on USA so that they might run during the NXT debut.
The Real Question Worth Asking USA
While the purchasing of ad space on your competition's program might be seen by some as unethical and good business by others, what might be a question worth asking is why USA would take AEW's money to run a spot for a competitor's wrestling promotion. Specifically, why would you run a commerical as you're debuting your newest wrestling acquisition?
Could this be as simple as the ad department not paying attention? Or, is this specifically one of the reasons USA wanted NXT in the first place, to draw in new sponsors, including rival wrestling companies. Maybe they just don't care and money is money.
Whatever the case, consider the first warning shot sent and likely received. AEW may not have done this intentionally, and maybe they did. One would have to assume WWE is going to not like the fact USA aired a commercial for AEW during their show.
It will be interesting to see if this trend continues. WWE probably should have thought to work in a clause in their tv contract that USA couldn't air an AEW spot. This wouldn't have been an issue in the first place had they done so.