This (now deleted*) tweet from All Elite Wrestling Executive Vice-President and wrestler Kenny Omega is in direct response to the announcement WWE will send talent to, and WWE Network will stream, Evolve 131 on Sat., July 13 at the same time as AEW’s Fight for the Fallen show. A portion of the Fight for the Fallen gate will be donated to Jacksonville, Florida’s Victim Assistance Advisory Council - a service for victims of violent crime and their families.
It also encompasses WWE’s business relationship with Saudi Arabia. It can also be read in light of WWE Superstar Seth Rollins recently bragging about the size of his paycheck during his online feud with New Japan’s Will Ospreay.
Regardless of how much or how little you read into it, it certainly won’t do anything to cool off the growing animosity between All Elite and WWE fans:
If lining your pockets with blood money is okay, then what’s wrong with trying to undermine a charity show for victims of gun violence? I hear that healthy competition is supposed to be a good thing and yet I can’t help but feel like I’m gonna be sick.— Kenny Omega (@KennyOmegamanX) June 26, 2019
While it’s pretty clear the decision to broadcast Evolve’s 10th anniversary show is at least in part motivated by AEW’s schedule, it seems like a stretch to blame WWE for negatively impacting the charity aspect of Fight for the Fallen. The B/R Live stream of the event is free. It’s probably not likely that many fans in Jacksonville will decide to stay home to watch an indie show rather than check out the hot new company and help a good cause in the process.
On the other hand, Omega’s tweet also hits on things like the Saudi deal, where WWE takes money from a government accused of numerous human rights abuses. It will really motivate fans looking for an alternative to supporting a company which does things like that - an alternative All Elite wants to be.
Both companies can say this isn’t a war all they like, but it’s definitely at least a fight.
* UPDATE: Omega explained his decision to delete the tweet thusly:
I’ve said my piece and it opened the door to a very toxic environment. It wasn’t a message to fans, or the boys, just the decision makers. I wish everyone wrestling on any show that day all the best. That is all.— Kenny Omega (@KennyOmegamanX) June 26, 2019