Higher-ups in WWE believe that history will repeat itself for a third time.
WCW attempted to try and be the number one wrestling company in the world in the 90s and while they won the ratings for 83 weeks in a row, the promotion was acquired by their rival and closed down in 2001. Fast forward a few years and the promotion TNA would start up and began to make a name for itself as the number two company in the United States. Hoping for the top spot in 2010, TNA briefly went head-to-head with Raw on Mondays but quickly lost the battle and retreated. With All Elite Wrestling now firmly the biggest rival in 2023, company officials believe that events will repeat themselves for a third time.
As reported in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, it is believed that while there will be movement from both sides, the industry leader will be focusing on signing younger talent from All Elite Wrestling as they have done with other promotions in years past:
One person in WWE noted that they believe the wrestling war will turn into WCW or TNA or Bellator as the competition in the sense there will be signings of older talent from WWE with names while WWE will take AEW’s younger talent (Cargill being the first example) and this is history repeating itself. The claim is that a pipeline has developed and some of the younger AEW stars are already talking about leaving when their deals are up.
Even in AEW there are people saying the same thing, that it’s known that people are looking to leave and the hope is that the number is few because the perception of AEW as the AAA league in wrestling (a baseball reference for the top feeder league, not a wrestling reference) would not be good for AEW. There will likely be movement in both directions as there has been, but WWE is interested in the key younger talent
As seen in rivalries with WCW and TNA, the rival company would take the recently released older talent that would add initial star power to their promotion, but it would be to the detriment of their younger stars who would get frustrated and move to another promotion when their contract expired.
AEW Dynamite Ratings Suffer
Unfortunately for All Elite Wrestling, the latest episode of Dynamite would hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Following a well-received WrestleDream pay-per-view and heavily promoting the debut of Adam Copeland, the October 4th episode only drew an average audience of 800,000 viewers, which was also lower than the episode of NXT that ran on the same week.