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WWE’s contracts with venues said to limit when AEW can book, promote shows in same building

WRESTLING: MAR 27 WWE WrestleMania RAW Photo by Alejandro Salazar/PX Images/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Officially, WWE officials will say that while they’re certainly aware of AEW, they’re focused on making their own business the best it can be.

Unofficially, WWE’s done a few things that indicate they’re paying closer attention. The businesses competing in the same industry, after all. We’ve heard about them targeting free agents after appearances on Dynamite, and seen moves like last weekend, where they booked an NXT streaming show for the same night that AEW was running one of their major PPV events.

This week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter brings another example, this one dealing with venues used by both promotions:

... in arenas that do rent to both AEW and WWE, WWE has put clauses in its deals that AEW can’t run a certain number of weeks before or after the WWE show, and also that AEW and the arena can’t announce the show or sell tickets until after the WWE show has taken place.

Some will find this shady, or an unfair use of WWE’s market power. Whether it is or not, it’s not a new or unheard of practice — in wrestling or other performing arts business. For instance, WWE allegedly tried to prevent Ring of Honor and New Japan from using Madison Square Garden as recently as 2018.

All’s fair in wrestling war? Or monopolistic behavior? Give us your take below, Cagesiders.

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