Tony Khan recently touted a Toronto Star article that went viral because of a quote from a WWE representative. The story was supposed to be about AEW challenging Vince McMahon’s wrestling empire. The discourse that followed was all about what WWE had to say.
After a mostly positive take on AEW, a quote from a WWE official was included. AEW was derided for “gory self-mutilation” in a narrative that echoed Vince McMahon’s famous letter to Ted Turner about the practice of blading in WCW. AEW’s broadcast partner, WarnerMedia, was not pleased.
WWE has shown plenty of blood on their television shows. Vince McMahon even took a stiff headbutt from Kevin Owens designed to make him bleed. Dave Meltzer called out WWE’s tactics in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
“Sources noted that WarnerMedia was upset about the WWE quote, taking it as an attempt at a personal attack against the company in an attempt to hurt their ad sales.”
WarnerMedia believes that WWE’s statement was only there to scare off potential AEW advertisers. It isn’t the first time the company has done such a thing. Rumors circulated last year that WWE planted news with Domino’s Pizza of a bloody match involving a pizza cutter where one of their ads was shown.
WWE continues to try and monopolize the wrestling market by spooking the competition’s sponsors. It’s a tale as old as the Monday Night Wars. Time will tell if any advertisers decide to bail on AEW after WWE’s statement.
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