When it happened on Wednesday night (July 28), we thought it was just a hilarious coincidence.
TNT’s broadcast of AEW Dynamite going from Nick Gage using a pizza cutter on Chris Jericho’s forehead to a picture-in-picture commercial for Dominos Pizza seemed destined to go into meme history. But thanks to a coverage from Front Office Sports, it’s become a hot topic in the wrestling business.
The conversation since yesterday (July 30) has centered around what role WWE might have played in the coincidence turning into a “controversy”.
In this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, there were two instances the seem to imply Vince McMahon’s company was pushing the story. While discussing WWE’s Q2 investor call from Thursday:
“There was one question on AEW, which was notable with the gap closing on the numbers. Vince McMahon blew them off as competition at the same moment behind-the-scenes they were trying to take advantage of the bloodbath the night before.”
Then while covering Domino’s statement to Front Office Sports, the Observer had this:
“Domino’s is a major sponsor of TNT and WarnerMedia programming so this is a serious issue. There was a concerted campaign to contact sponsors but at press time Domino’s was the only one that has reacted to the match.”
When those two items were shared on Twitter, Voices of Wrestling quote-tweeted Trevor Dame’s screenshots of them, saying they don’t know about WWE contacting sponsors, but “they have been calling journalists in hopes the story picks up steam.”
On his Babyface v. Heel substack, David Bixenspan wrote he’d been in contact with one such journalist. On the condition of anonymity, a reporter “from a mainstream publication” who doesn’t usually cover pro wrestling shared a screenshot with Bixenspan which showed “WWE had contacted them about writing a article on the Domino’s/AEW situation.”
Neither AEW or WWE has commented on the situation. Bixenspan has reached out to the author of the Front Office Sports’ piece but hasn’t received a response.
In the meantime, AEW and WarnerMedia have been touting the ratings for this week’s Fight for the Fallen edition of Dynamite - on which the Gage/Jericho main event was the second most watched quarter-hour (per Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston). Gage has been having fun with the Domino’s story, and using it for self-promotion. And so have his friends at PBR.
As VoW said in their tweet, “Sure feels like all of this will amount to nothing.” But it gave the wrestle web something to focus on for a few days, so...
Give us your take, gang.