Even the business world is curious about pro wrestling’s Wednesday Night War.
Yesterday (Jan. 8) the entertainment press dipped their toes into discussing the budding rivalry between WWE and AEW. Today (Jan. 9) people plugged into the finance sector peeked over to the land of spandex and suplexes.
This week at the Citi 2020 Global TMT West Conference in Las Vegas, WWE Co-President George Barrios gave an expansive half hour interview. Diving deep into WWE financial talk, Barrios was also asked to give his opinion on AEW being competition for the WWE.
“We are serious like a heart attack around fighting for our unfair share. Having said that, I think it’s fair to say that there’s been other wrestling in the United States and abroad. We respect the people behind that. We respect the talent. We respect what they do. It can be tough to compete with us because we’re so good at what we do. We’ve built up capabilities and competencies over a long, long time: how to build stars, how to present the content, how to engage fans now over multiple platforms. We think we’re hard to compete with. But I would say we don’t take anything for granted. If you said to me [‘Is AEW an existential threat?’] Do I feel that way? No. But I love a good fight so we enjoy it.”
H/T to Wrestlenomics Radio for the Barrios quote.
It’s a reasonable answer from one of the heads of a billion dollar company with a long history of success in their field. Pro wrestling fans have seen what WWE looks like without competition, and now for the last few months of 2019 what WWE looks like with some form of upstart competition.
WWE moved NXT to a live show on the USA network to siphon off viewers from AEW Dynamite on TNT. In 2020, what’s the next move by WWE to counter AEW?