‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin has given his thoughts on the effect AEW has had on WWE and how the creation of AEW has benefitted the wrestling industry.
Speaking to Wrestling Inc., Austin said he doesn’t see AEW and WWE as being in a direct rivalry, but that they are in competition simply because they are both wrestling promotions.
“Man, I love it, I think it’s competition by proxy just because they’re wrestling, WWE’s wrestling, but I don’t think they’re directly trying to compete. But in essence, they are and I love it because it gives more people within any of this jobs. It gives more people a chance to work. And it makes WWE, you know, forces them to push the envelope rather than just sit back and push out content. Competition makes everybody better.”
The ‘Texas Rattlesnake’, who was a central figure in the Monday Night War between WWE and WCW, went on to explain that it was competition that helped WWE get to the point where they could put their major rival out of business in 2001. He also pointed out that while he thought WWE was just trying to win the ratings war, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon may have had other plans.
“The product is better because you’re forced. ‘What are these cats doing over here? This friggin’ stuff, we gotta up it a little bit!’ There’s checks and balances. I remember when we put WCW out of business, I remember going up to Vince and saying, ‘Was it our mission to put them out of business?’ They kicked our a– for two years, you know, but I didn’t know that was the mission! We just wanted to win the ratings war. Of course, he ends up buying them for pennies on the dollar, that’s the genius of Vince McMahon.”
The WWE Hall of Famer finished by saying he believes AEW is a good thing for the whole industry.
“But to answer your question, yes, AEW is a good thing. It’s a good thing for everybody, including WWE.”
All Elite Wrestling’s flagship weekly show Dynamite debuted on Wednesday, October 2nd 2019 on TNT, airing in the same timeslot as WWE’s weekly NXT show on USA Network. Since its launch, Dynamite has regularly defeated NXT in the ratings, and it has recently been announced that NXT will now move to Tuesday nights.
Steve Austin made waves earlier this week when he revealed the next guest on his WWE Network show, Broken Skull Sessions, will be AEW’s Chris Jericho. The show will air on Sunday, April 11th on Peacock TVin the US and the WWE Network everywhere else.
Credit to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.