All Elite Wrestling’s official stance seems to be that they’re not competing with, or at least not in a war against, WWE. But they continue to frame themselves in contrast to Vince McMahon’s sports entertainment empire. And if McMahon is going to take shots at them (without naming names), they probably have to.
Plus, if it leads to passionate promos like this one Cody Rhodes delivered in a video hyping the premiere of AEW’s weekly live show on TNT, I’m okay with it:
“Recently there were some very public comments made about us where we were referred to as ‘blood and guts’. Blood - and - guts. And it was said with such a braggart candor you would think the person saying it felt that they were bulletproof. But I wonder if before they said it they tasted their own words before they spit them out, because the entirety of our business is built on blood and guts. Every man or woman who ever stepped foot in the ring regardless of race, color, creed, political affiliation, sexual identity has felt blood and guts and passion! Because if we don’t care, they don’t care. So if you say we’re blood and guts, I say you bet your ass we’re blood and guts.”
Whether you buy this promo as much as I do or not, it’s worth noting it’s made during a pitch for the TNT show. McMahon’s comments about “gory things” were made on an investor conference call, and seen as aimed at sponsors or other business partners who might be wary of a return to the Attitude Era material which defined the last wrestling war. Cody’s response could be seen as a sign AEW’s TV home is okay with their edgy approach, or spin from the Executive Vice-President on why it shouldn’t scare TNT and their advertisers.