WWE held a call with investors today to discuss their financial results in the second quarter of 2021.
Here is what Vince McMahon had to say when he was asked about AEW’s current position in the pro wrestling landscape compared to WCW in the late 1990’s:
“Well it’s certainly not a situation where...that was when Ted Turner was coming after us with all of Time Warner’s assets as well. That was a different situation. AEW is where they are. I don’t really know what their plans are. All I know is what our plans are. I don’t consider them competition in the way that I would consider WCW back in the day...”
On the one hand, McMahon is absolutely correct that AEW doesn’t pose much of a threat to WWE in nearly the same way that WCW did in the mid to late 1990’s. On the other hand, McMahon should remember that WCW surged to the top of the industry in short order after adding Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall to the roster, as well as the creation of WCW Monday Nitro. AEW doesn’t threaten WWE in that same way now, but it’s at least possible that major moves like the rumored signings of CM Punk and Daniel Bryan could significantly alter AEW’s growth and trajectory in the market.
“I think the way we always look at these situations, you know, it’s sort of like a horse race where the horse has blinders on. We’re looking straight ahead at our lane, and making sure that we stay in the front of the pack. At the same time everything is our competition. So someone had a line a couple weeks ago that we all chuckled about and agreed with. Sleep is our competition. Right? If it was up to us, people could be up 24 hours a day watching content from different content providers, hopefully including ours. So we don’t look at any organization particularly as competition. Yet we see everything as competitive with what we’re trying to do in terms of eyeballs.”
The awkward phrase “with what we’re trying to do in terms of eyeballs” might be the creepiest thing that Nick Khan has said so far as an employee of WWE. Whatever freaky thing you’re trying to do with eyeballs should probably be kept private, okay?
Elsewhere on the call, Khan mentioned that views on Peacock for pay-per-views like Backlash, Hell in a Cell, and Money in the Bank were up anywhere from 25% to 40% compared to views on WWE Network one year ago. He also mentioned that WWE’s second foray into NFTs will happen at SummerSlam and focus on John Cena.
Is your sleep schedule in a constant back-and-forth battle with your WWE viewing schedule, Cagesiders? Or are you too busy texting to have eyeball time for anything else?