The statement that was issued by WWE to the Toronto Star last weekend reportedly upset people at WarnerMedia, per The Wrestling Observer Newsletter
The WWE statement reads, “If you look at the gory self-mutilation that bloodied several women in the December 31 event on TNT, it quickly becomes clear that these are very different businesses. We had an edgier product in the `Attitude’ era and in a 2022 world, we don’t believe that type of dangerous and brutal display is appealing to network partners, sponsors, venues, children, or the general public as a whole.”
The statement mirrors what they have said before about their competition, most notably in 1996 about Ted Turner’s WCW.
This is a tactic and Dave Meltzer noted in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that people at WarnerMedia saw it as an attempt at a personal attack against the company in an attempt to hurt their ad sales. AEW’s ad sales are important to TBS/TNT and will be a factor in the TV contract renewal talks.
It was noted that if there is anything on AEW that they don’t like then it won’t get approved because AEW clears anything that may be controversial beforehand.
Ironically, WWE’s criticism of AEW about self-mutilation (blading) should also apply to themselves because there have been multiple instances of blading or hardway blood on WWE TV in recent years. Vince McMahon was busted open from a Kevin Owens headbutt on an episode of SmackDown a couple of years ago and there was also hardway blood when Brock Lesnar was booked to open Randy Orton’s head up with elbow strikes at a SummerSlam pay-per-view in 2016.
I’m just gonna put this here: Vince McMahon’s letter to Ted Turner from February 8, 1996.
“…I can only assume based on the last two weeks of Nitro that the practice of self-mutilation (slicing one’s self with a razor blade) is not only condoned, but encouraged.” pic.twitter.com/h8w8t5iZRJ
— David Bixenspan (@davidbix) August 2, 2019
TBS seems to be happy with AEW because they issued this press release:
“AEW: Dynamite” on TBS – Wednesday, January 19 – 8p-10p
570K P18-49 / 624K P25-54 / 1032K P2+
- Ranked #1 on cable for Wednesday among P18-49
- +13% among P18-49 and +7% among P2+ vs. prior week’s episode
On last night’s “AEW: Dynamite,” Jon Moxley made his highly anticipated return, Adam Cole and AEW Women’s World Champion Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. faced Orange Cassidy and Kris Statlander, CM Punk battled Shawn Spears, The Acclaimed took on Sting and Darby Allin, Malakai Black and Brody King collided with the Varsity Blonds, and Serena Deeb faced Skye Blue.
Founded by CEO, GM and Head of Creative Tony Khan, AEW is a new professional wrestling league headlined by Hangman Page, Dr. Britt Baker, CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, Chris Jericho, Cody & Brandi Rhodes, Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson), Adam Cole, Sting, Jon Moxley, Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, Jade Cargill, Sammy Guevara, Miro, Lucha Bros., PAC, MJF, Darby Allin, Nyla Rose, Red Velvet, Ruby Soho, Hikaru Shida, Thunder Rosa, Malakai Black, Andrade El Idolo, Christian Cage, Scorpio Sky, Ethan Page, Orange Cassidy, Ricky Starks, Powerhouse Hobbs, Eddie Kingston, Lance Archer, and many more. For the first time in many years, AEW is offering an alternative to mainstream wrestling, with a roster of world-class talent that is injecting new spirit, freshness and energy into the industry.
“AEW: Dynamite” airs every Wednesday from 8-10 p.m. ET on TBS and attracts the youngest wrestling audience on television. The fight-forward show “AEW: Rampage” airs every Friday from 10-11 p.m. ET on TNT. AEW’s multi-platform content also includes “AEW Dark” and “AEW Dark: Elevation,” two weekly professional wrestling YouTube series, “Being the Elite,” a weekly behind-the-scenes YouTube series, and “AEW Unrestricted,” a weekly podcast series. For more info, check out Twitter.com/AEW; Instagram.com/AllEliteWrestling;YouTube.com/AEW; Facebook.com/AllEliteWrestling