Following a vague tweet earlier this week from Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer, a lot of wrestling fans have been speculating about what exactly is going on with WWE’s negotiations for the next Raw TV deal.
We now have more information to sink your teeth into, thanks to a new report from PW Insider, and it touches on one of the worst-case scenarios for All Elite Wrestling:
...this past Monday morning TKO’s Marc Shapiro as well as WWE’s Nick Khan and Paul Levesque were in NYC at the Warner Bros. Discovery headquarters meeting with WBD executive Bruce Campbell about potentially moving Raw to the WBD family. Campbell holds the position of Chief Revenue and Strategy Officer. We are told that the WWE contingent met with Campbell for several hours Monday AM with at least part of the meeting taking place in a conference room usually reserved for David Zaslav.
Obviously, if a deal were to be made between those two entities, there would be massive ripple effects for professional wrestling, specifically because WBD’s TNT and TBS have been the home for AEW programming since the fall of 2019. The belief is that AEW’s current agreement with WBD runs through the end of the 2024 television season.
WWE Raw’s current TV deal with NBCUniversal expires at the start of October 2024. Based on this report, the idea that Raw could move to Warner Bros. Discovery at that time is a very real possibility, and not just baseless fantasy talk from WWE diehards who would love to see AEW squeezed out.
Earlier this year when CM Punk returned to AEW for the launch of Collision on TNT, he indicated in his first promo that WBD CEO David Zaslav sees big money in him. If there is any truth to that claim, it could explain why Meltzer indicated that Punk’s return to WWE greatly changed the course of the current negotiations for Raw’s next TV deal.
If WWE ends up announcing a TV deal with WBD for Raw in the coming months, that would of course put AEW in a very bad spot, likely forcing President Tony Khan to find a new broadcast partner. The bottom line is that WWE is the number one brand in pro wrestling in the USA by a large margin over AEW; if WBD thinks it can make a lot more money by entering a business relationship with WWE, then why not do it?
Despite the multiple “what if” scenarios discussed above, it’s worth noting that Insider’s report doesn’t claim Raw is favored to move to WBD or that a deal is imminent. WWE and WBD simply had a long meeting this week regarding Raw’s TV rights, and we don’t know yet what will come from the meeting, if anything. Tony Khan is also talking with WBD about a new TV deal for AEW, so it’s not like he’s just sitting on the sidelines waiting for WWE to make its move.
Do you think WWE Raw is heading to Warner Bros. Discovery in 2024? Is there any way WWE and AEW TV shows can co-exist under the WBD umbrella? Give us your thoughts in the comments below, Cagesiders.