WWE Rumors: Does WWE consider AEW to be competition? (Exclusive)
What's the story?
This peaked during AEW's inaugural event: Double Or Nothing. During that show, Cody Rhodes put WWE on notice, particularly Triple H, with the destruction of a large golden throne representing the King of Kings.
So what's WWE's take on this?
In case you didn't know...
Publicly, Vince McMahon has ignored All Elite Wrestling since the second that it debuted. In fact, he has ignored it considerably more strongly than he had ignored World Championship Wrestling back in the day. Triple H, however, has been considerably more vocal.
When accepting the Hall of Fame induction as part of D-Generation X, Triple H would needle longtime friend Billy Gunn due to his current producer role with the opposition.
Triple H has since referred to this in a media call, referring to AEW as something that was in the air anyway and that it would have been awkward not to mention. Vince McMahon meanwhile remains silent.
The heart of the matter
For a long time now sources have been clear. WWE is not worried about AEW.
When approached after Double Or Nothing, multiple sources told me that Vince McMahon had not watched the show but Triple H had. The reference was "...they keep an eye on the competition the same as the rest of it."
It was suggested to me that WWE would treat AEW very similarly to the way that they treat Impact Wrestling - largely denying its existence until they need to buy some footage.
More recently, when approached about the rate at which AEW is selling tickets to their events, the response was a very simple: "We're aware that the wrestling business is very successful at this moment in time."
It has been several months since the debut of All Elite Wrestling. The message has always been consistent. WWE aren't scared and they're only slightly interested.
AEW has an opportunity to change the wrestling business. All they have to do is be successful and it's so far so good. The addition of Jon Moxley to AEW roster has strengthened their position considerably and the speed at which their selling tickets is indicative of great interest. After their first succesfull event Double or Nothing now Jon Moxely will be seen fighting in AEW Fyter Fest Soon, they will debut on TV.
WWE, however, is not slowing up either. They have picked up a new UK TV deal with BT Sport and they are also moving SmackDown Live to Fox in the fall. This is a competition that could go all the way.