The principals behind All Elite Wrestling have repeatedly said they don’t want a war with WWE. That they’re going to focus on being the best wrestling promotion they can be and not worry about the competition.
They’ve not always adhered to that philosophy, but they’ve rarely flat-out contradicting it like the commercial for Dynamite which ran during TNT’s NBA coverage last night (Dec. 3).
New AEW commercial on TNT— Randy Cruz (@randyjcruz) December 4, 2019
“AEW delivered on its promises”
“AEW crushes NXT...”
“AEW trounces NXT...”
“AEW Dynamite buries NXT...” pic.twitter.com/tV01hxcjzx
Granted, they’re only quoting news outlets, and the ad could come from the network and not AEW itself. But the intent behind the quotes they’ve chosen is clear (and a little misleading, since they’re all about Wednesday night ratings from the first two weeks Dynamite and NXT went head-to-head). You also have to imagine Tony Khan could have veto-ed the spot if he really didn’t want to take shots at Triple H’s show.
The timing is also curious, as the ad runs after NXT has drawn more viewers than Dynamite for two straight weeks. The demographics and ratings still favor AEW, but their lead is shrinking there, too.
It’s a move which will fire up the base. Will it convince new viewers to check out AEW’s show? Airing it during basketball gives it the biggest possible audience, so it could pique the interest of casual fans while it motivates the #ImWithAEW crowd. But the obvious criticism is that it comes across as desperate. That’s never a good look, and especially not just two months into the “War”.