What if Sami Zayn had said more about AEW on WWE Raw?
#4. Burying AEW
The traditional WWE way of doing business is to not reference outside wrestling promotions. At the least, this could be seen as offering another company free advertising.
Times have changed, though, and recent years have seen WWE more explicitly make mention of Ring of Honor, Impact Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and a handful of other smaller promotions. Rather than counterintuitively helping the competition, the general understanding of this move is that WWE sees itself as so far above these smaller promotions that there’s no harm in mentioning them.
If invoking a smaller company’s name or history can give WWE Superstars a boost or allow WWE to use old footage, there’s little harm to be done, and paying a licensing fee or at least citing the smaller company gives them a rub—it’s a win-win proposition.
AEW feels like it has more potential to rival WWE than any company since Impact made a push to in the early 2010s, or arguably since WCW more legitimately competed in the late 1990s. WWE discussing AEW at greater length may have gestured toward not taking them seriously, or gone into Zayn poking holes and showing limitations Double or Nothing demonstrated ,like Jim Ross’s uneven commentary work, or the convoluted Casino Battle Royal concept.