The impending war between WWE and AEW is upon us as both promotions are ready to draw first blood.
WWE has dominated the pro wrestling business for over 20 years, monopolizing the industry and turning the system into their very own cash cow. Promotions that dared to compete with WWE have all failed miserably and even the combined forces of ROH-NJPW couldn’t scratch the juggernaut’s vast global territory. In fact, the once-promising Impact Wrestling has always been on the brink of going out of business for a decade.
AEW is a completely different player due to the ultra-strong financial backing, the mixed talent pool and the overall management as a whole. With an aim to provide fans an alternative, AEW looks promising in providing stiff competition to WWE.
Vince McMahon is aware of what AEW is capable of and while he isn’t too concerned about it publicly, his actions say otherwise. Since the official launch of AEW in January, WWE began locking talents in 5-year-long contracts and has reportedly offered huge money to mid-carders to prevent them from jumping ship to the upstart promotion.
On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer discussed WWE’s strategy of not firing anyone at the moment but instead providing “even bigger offers” to lock Superstars in the company.
“All I can say is WWE is making even bigger offers than people think and [The Good Brothers] was one of them. They don’t wanna lose anyone. No one’s getting fired unless they have to and because it’s the nature of pro wrestling there will probably be one or two guys a year that will have to [be fired], but not for poor performance, for disciplinary reasons.”
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson turned down deals worth $500,000 a year each but WWE signed them eventually. This inevitably means that the billion dollar promotion is coughing up whatever dough is required to prevent wrestlers from leaving.
“WWE does not want to lose anyone right now, you know.”
Fasten your seatbelts as this is going to be a very interesting war with money, proper strategy and networking playing a significantly bigger role than pro wrestling itself.