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Some might have viewed Vince McMahon’s recent comments about All Elite Wrestling as dismissive of the promotion. But AEW star Chris Jericho concurred with the WWE chairman’s assessment.
McMahon said during an earnings call Thursday that AEW doesn’t yet compare to WCW and that “I don’t consider them competition in the way that I would consider WCW back in the day, not anywhere near close to that.”
Jericho told Kenny McIntosh of Inside The Ropes that the feeling is mutual.
“Well, what else is he going to say? You know, and to respond to that, we don’t see WWE as competition. And he was smart to say that.
“We’re not worried about what WWE is and we haven’t been since day one,” he said. “We weren’t worried about what NXT did. … We were too busy worrying about our own company and about our own stories, and about our own show to care what anybody else is doing. And that’s one of the reasons why we did so well is that we were concentrating on AEW, not anything else.”
Impact Wrestling demonstrated the folly of attempting to go head-to-head against WWE when it attempted to reignite the “Monday Night Wars.” The effort was a disaster and may have left Impact Wrestling in a worse position than it was originally.
And WWE is an even bigger behemoth now thanks to the television deals it landed for Raw and SmackDown. The company also struck a deal with NBCUniversal for more than $1 billion to move WWE Network to Peacock.
WCW was successful in taking on WWE for a period of time in the 1990s because Ted Turner could write bigger checks than McMahon. That isn’t possible for a competitor today.
As Jericho explained, AEW’s best strategy is to focus less on WWE and avoid getting into a direct rivalry.