The rapid rise of AEW has done a number of great things for the pro wrestling industry, namely creating competition for the largest promotion in the world, WWE, and therefore creating a better environment for the wrestlers. There are downsides, however, and part of that are stories like this.
While pondering the decision to move the Bobby Lashley vs. Randy Orton WWE championship match from Extreme Rules later this month to Monday Night Raw this week, Dave Meltzer had this to say on Wrestling Observer Radio (via Wrestlingnews.co):
“They moved the pay-per-view match to Raw. Originally they were going to do the tag team title match. The whole show last week was built to set up this tag team title match on this week’s Raw and then they pulled the match because they lost in the ratings and they’re putting Randy Orton and Bobby Lashley, the pay-per-view main event on TV tomorrow night. Yea, that’s among the responses [to AEW]. I’m not surprised.”
That’s in reference to the fact that while Raw had more overall viewers than Dynamite this past week, AEW won the 18-49 demographic. It wouldn’t exactly be a surprise if that’s the reason WWE moved that title match. Then again, it could be because that’s the first night of the year it will compete with Monday Night Football.
To that end, Ringside News is reporting sources told them WWE is not booking in response to AEW and that the match was moved to this week for other reasons.
As AEW gains more and more steam, expect stories like this to continue.