During last week’s Q2 investor call, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon was asked to compare AEW’s place in the current
pro wrestling sports entertainment landscape to how he viewed WCW in the 1990s.
While specifying the two situations are different, McMahon did say “I don’t consider them competition in the way that I would consider WCW back in the day.”
It was only a matter of time until someone from AEW was asked about that answer. Turns out Chris Jericho was the first to get a crack at it. Based on what the long-time WWE employee told Inside The Ropes, Jericho doesn’t have a problem with Vince’s answer. He thinks his current company has a ways to go before it’s on the same level as WWE.
Jericho did get in a dig about the Wednesday Night War though, naturally.
“Well, what else is he [McMahon] going to say? You know, and to respond to that, we don’t see WWE as competition. And he was smart to say that.
“We’re not worried about what WWE is and we haven’t been since day one. We weren’t worried about what NXT did. The whole time with the NXT vs. AEW war, which ended in a total abysmal failure for NXT, we never once had a TV screen watching what they were doing when we were doing it. We didn’t know what segments they were in. We didn’t know any of that. Now, the WWE way is you’re watching what the competition is doing when they were on, we didn’t do that. And it was no disrespect. We just didn’t care. We were too busy worrying about our own company and about our own stories, and about our own show to care what anybody else is doing. And that’s one of the reasons why we did so well is that we were concentrating on AEW, not anything else.
In focusing on themselves, Jericho says AEW doesn’t see WWE competition. But he did seem to indicate he doesn’t believe his old boss - and specify what needs to happen for AEW’s perspective to change:
“So WWE is not competition for us. We’re competition for ourselves. So for Vince to say that – to me, it’s probably reverse psychology and that he does see us as competition. But deep down inside, what does it really matter?
“The WWE is the WWE and they have billions of dollars locked in TV deals and we are working towards that. Now when our demo ends up beating theirs and TV deals start coming in for us at the billions, then I truly think there will be a lot of competition because now you’re fighting for money, you’re not just fighting for bragging rights – and bragging rights don’t mean anything. It’s the money that you make from it that counts. So we’ll see what happens.”