AEW is heading to New York City for the first time, and the announcement came along with a full press and marketing blitz.
It’s clear that among the goals of the PR and sales pitch is to establish that Arthur Ashe Stadium is Queens was the company’s first choice for a NYC venue. And I don’t mean to say it wasn’t - it’s a very cool space, and the idea of creating an AEW destination event somewhere that’s never hosted a wrestling show is a smart one.
But in the quotes he gave to the Daily News, Chris Jericho lays it on pretty thick:
“One of the reasons why AEW’s done so well is we’re different from WWE, and that’s obvious. We do things differently than the way they do it.
“They’re a huge successful company, especially in the New York market. That’s a WWE stronghold. But there are a lot of people who are excited to see things done a little bit differently, and I think that’s one of the reasons why we’re making our debut in New York City in a stadium WWE’s never been in.
“It’s a trumpeting call that AEW is back on the road at the highest of levels. It’s ready to take control of New York City. It’s a celebration. It’s a victory. We’ll be vindicated as the coolest wrestling company in the world today...
“I’m sure we could have gone to the Garden or done the Barclays Center, but those do have a WWE brush on them.
“Let’s go somewhere else and make it our New York market arena. Let’s go to Arthur Ashe Stadium and that now becomes an AEW stronghold in the middle of New York, which is a McMahon country.”
As his boss Tony Khan said earlier this week, there’s nothing wrong with talking about how proud you are of the work you’re doing. And like I said above, I think the logic behind booking Arthur Ashe makes a ton of sense.
For a lot of wrestling fans, though, if you’re going to even hint at taking control of New York City, you’re going to have to play Manhattan and Madison Square Garden.
But wrestlers and promoters - and Jericho is damn good at both jobs - aren’t known for subtlety.