Chris Jericho didn’t mince words when talking about the supposed “war” between AEW and WWE.
Originally, NXT and AEW were both on Wednesday nights and the latter topped that battle in terms of total audience and coveted 18-49-year-old demographics.
AEW likely won over 80% of those one-on-one battles before NXT decided to move their show to Tuesday night.
Vince McMahon was recently asked if he sees AEW as a competition at this point and the WWE President said rather optimistically, “Well, it’s definitely not a ‘rising tide’ situation, because it was at that time [WCW owner] Ted Turner was also following us with all the assets of Time Warner.
“It was a different situation. AEW is where they are. I don’t really know what their plans are, all I know is what our plans are.
“I don’t see them as a competition the way I would see WCW back then, far from it.”
Chris Jericho, who played for both WCW and WWE in the Monday Night Wars that McMahon refers to, thinks the WWE President might be telling a little lie with his analysis.
Jericho is a WWE legend, but he was the first man to sign for AEW and help the company grow. He believes AEW is not far from getting WWE TV deals.
“We don’t see WWE as a competition,” Jericho told Inside The Ropes.
“All the time with the NXT war against AEW, which ended in total and abysmal failure for NXT. WWE is not a competition for us. We are competing for ourselves. So for Vince to say that – to me it’s probably reverse psychology and he sees us as a competition.
“WWE is WWE and they have billions of dollars stuck in TV deals and we’re working on that. Now when our demo eventually beats theirs and the TV deals start making us billions, then I really think there will be a lot of competition.
Jericho would be right on that assumption. When AEW begins to dominate the market in which WWE operates and influence its primary sources of revenue, it’s a different ball game.
Many fans believe the tide is starting to turn WWE and AEW are on the rise. While not the world powerhouse of WWE with decades of growing around the world, they have a product that feels energetic and alive.
The same can’t be said for WWE, especially with RAW. Ultimately, the ratings and appeal will always return to the product and WWE seems to have lost viewers and / or fans for quite some time.
If AEW does indeed secure CM Punk and Daniel Bryan as is generally expected, the TV deals Jericho talks about could become a reality sooner rather than later.