Last week, Vince McMahon set the wrestling world alight with his comments about AEW, with the WWE CEO saying he doesn’t see AEW as competition. Well, the feeling is mutual, as Chris Jericho has detailed.
For those who missed the comments, McMahon was asked about AEW and drew comparisons with WCW, saying he doesn’t consider the threat of All Elite Wrestling anywhere close to that of his previous largest competition.
“It’s certainly not a situation where it’s rising tides because Ted Turner was coming after us with all of Time Warner assets as well. It 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 considered WCW back in the day. Not even near close to that. I’m not so sure what their investments are as far as their talent is concerned. Perhaps, we can give them some more.”
Speaking exclusively with Inside The Ropes’Kenny McIntosh about his new book The Complete List of Jericho, former AEW World Champion Chris Jericho opened up his former boss’ comments – saying McMahon was smart to say so and he feels the same.
“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.”
Jericho went on to say that AEW wasn’t worried about NXT and focused completely on their own output for the entire so-called ‘Wednesday Night Wars’ – adding that it was a “total abysmal failure” for NXT.
“We’re not worried about what WWE is and we haven’t been since day one. We weren’t worried about what NXT did. The whole time with the NXT vs. AEW war, which ended in a total abysmal failure for NXT, we never once had a TV screen watching what they were doing when we were doing it. We didn’t know what segments they were in. We didn’t know any of that. Now, the WWE way is you’re watching what the competition is doing when they were on, we didn’t do that. And it was no disrespect. We just didn’t care. 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.”
The inaugural AEW Champion added that, even if Dynamite had to take on a Beatles reunion, you can’t think about the external stuff and have to focus on your own work.
“We could not control the fact that NXT was put up against us. We couldn’t control the fact if, you know, there’s a Beatles reunion put up against us, you know, whatever. We can’t control that. All we can control is our own show on the quality of what we’re doing. And we’ve worked very hard to improve the things that need improving and to focus on the things that we’re doing great. I think that’s one of the reasons why we’ve gone as far as we have and why our demos have crept up to where they are and where our ratings have crept up to where they are.”
Chris Jericho noted that AEW’s competition is AEW, but that he thinks Vince McMahon also sees AEW as competition.
“So WWE is not competition for us. We’re competition for ourselves. So for Vince to say that – to me, it’s probably reverse psychology and that he does see us as competition. But deep down inside, what does it really matter?”
In parting, Jericho added there WILL be competition though, “when” AEW’s demo ends up beating WWE’s.
“The WWE is the WWE and they have billions of dollars locked in TV deals and we are working towards that. Now when our demo ends up beating theirs and TV deals start coming in for us at the billions, then I truly think there will be a lot of competition because now you’re fighting for money, you’re not just fighting for bragging rights – and bragging rights don’t mean anything. It’s the money that you make from it that counts. So we’ll see what happens.”