Tony Khan has made the bold claim that AEW is now leading WWE in many business metrics to the extent that they are the “worldwide leader”.
When AEW began in 2019, WWE was the dominant force in most, if not all, aspects of the professional wrestling world having bought their only major competitor, WCW, back in 2001. Speaking on Bloomberg Business of Sports, Khan, who is AEW’s President and CEO, asserted that he believes this is no longer the case in all areas, and that after only two years, AEW is already the market leader in some aspects.
“In some aspects, they are the market leader. In other aspects, we are now the market leader. At the beginning, that may have been the case, but there were a lot of reasons why I felt like I could come in a compete.”
Khan explained that he felt a lot of fans were already looking for an alternative product when AEW entered the scene because they weren’t satisfied with what WWE had to offer. He added that he “saw some vulnerability” in the company, and that opened up a lot of market share for AEW.
“There were a lot of great wrestlers that weren’t being featured on television and there are a lot of wrestling fans that were looking for an alternative product. They weren’t satisfied with what they were getting on those shows. I do think there was definitely a great opportunity to come in and compete and I saw some vulnerability, frankly, in the market leader at the time and it’s opened up a lot of market share for us and for me to bootstrap a new business and build it up and again a lot of that market share where now, in a lot of significant business metrics, we are the worldwide leader.”
AEW is set to hold one of its biggest events to date when Grand Slam takes place across September the 22nd and 24th on both Dynamite and Rampage. The shows will feature Bryan Danielson’s first match for the promotion as he takes on AEW World Champion Kenny Omega in a non-title match, and CM Punk will have only his second match in over seven years as he faces Team Taz’s Powerhouse Hobbs.
H/T to Fightful for the above transcription.