Dave Meltzer Says AEW Further Away From Catching WWE

AEW Roster Tony Khan

Dave Meltzer has commented on the battle for supremacy between AEW and WWE and admits Tony Khan is “struggling” amid big changes at the sports entertainment giant.

When AEW was announced on New Year’s Day 2019, the entire wrestling world sat up and took notice. A perfect storm of a groundswell of support for stars such as The Young Bucks and Cody Rhodes, established wrestling legends such as Chris Jericho and Jim Ross looking for a new challenge, and a billionaire owner in Tony Khan all came together to form the established number two company in the US.

WWE also took notice of the upstart company, with Triple H and Sami Zayn referencing the disruptor on WWE television before NXT became a bona fide third brand as it moved to the USA Network ahead of Dynamite debuting on TNT on Wednesday nights.

The ‘Wednesday Night Wars’ proved to be fairly short-lived and gave Tony Khan’s AEW a decisive victory over WWE programming the vast majority of the time.

However, things are now changing in WWE with Vince McMahon retiring and Triple H the new creative force in the company. Speaking on Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer commented on the situation and says AEW is now further away from WWE than before as WWE gathers some momentum:

“In a historical wrestling war, being number two is tough. What Tony [Khan] had – number one was Tony was the growing company since he started, with momentum, a very hot fanbase, better television – at least Wednesday was better television – and it was growing and the other guys were falling.”

“The gap was getting closer and as long as the gap stayed the same or got closer he’s doing really, really well. Well now – it’s too early – but Paul [Levesque]’s getting kinda like the beginner’s luck and new enthusiasm but Tony’s struggling. I mean, he’s first on Wednesday but he’s further away from WWE than he was months ago and a year ago.”

“It’s not like this Wednesday Tony’s got this great show […] and it’s not like I’m sitting here going ‘I’m wondering if they can beat them with men [in the ratings]’ because they’ve done that many times in the past. I’m saying this week I don’t think they will, I don’t think it’ll be close. The gap is different and in wrestling wars when you fall behind there’s a weird momentum.”

“It’s a different business now and there’s so many differences to it and Tony’s ability as far as the money that he has and the money this thing generates, it’s not the same but he’s not closing in on number one which he had been doing almost from day one.”

h/t Inside The Ropes