Legendary commentator Jim Ross reveals the tactics employed by the WWE in order to stop the AEW from growing into a threat.
The WWE hasn’t always had a monopoly on wrestling in the United States. When Vince McMahon took over the company from his father, the country was divided into territories where independent promotions operated under the NWA.
In time, Vince would thwart all competition to make the WWE the leading wrestling promotion in the country. By the 90’s however, WCW rose and for the first time, the WWE was 2nd to someone. That was until McMahon beat his opponent in the ratings war and famously bought his competition.
The rivalry between both the companies would be dubbed the ‘Monday night wars’. It is still remembered by fans as one of the most glorious periods in wrestling. Which is precisely why fans were filled with optimism when the creation of AEW was announced.
Many believed that they were going to witness the second coming of rating wars. However, the WWE or at least Vince McMahon wasn’t too eager to go through yet another battle. He used a variety of tactics to prevent the AEW from flourishing.
Jim Ross opens up on what the WWE did to stop AEW
Former WWE commentator and now announcer in AEW Jim Ross discussed how the WWE dealt with Tony Khan’s promotion on his podcast called Grilling with JR.
“They were hiring every piece of talent they could hire because speculation said they didn’t want them to go to AEW,” Jim Ross said. “At the end of the day, Vince’s net worth is a little over 2 billion and Mr. Khans net worth is 8.2 billion, so you don’t want to see who has the biggest bank account, that would be silly.”
During the inception of the AEW, the WWE were reportedly holding on to their wrestlers. They even extended the contracts of several of their talents in a bid to keep them from AEW. Despite several wrestlers asking for their release, the WWE held on to them; despite it being evident that the promotion had no need for them.
AEW has still managed to make a lot of important signings with Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley (Dean Ambrose in WWE) being the most notable ones. In their one-year existence, they have established themselves and have garnered much praise from the fans and critics alike.
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