Tony Khan wasn’t shy about taking shots at the competition, which has led to some people in WWE considering it a “declaration of war.”
It has been a very interesting week in the world of pro wrestling if you are a fan of WWE and AEW. This past Tuesday night, WWE NXT presented a show with special appearances from John Cena, Paul Heyman, Asuka, Cody Rhodes, LA Knight, and The Undertaker. In other words, they brought on some people who don’t regularly appear on NXT.
The reason for that is because AEW Dynamite was moved to Tuesday this week due to the MLB Playoffs airing on TBS on Wednesday night. Dynamite had two title changes with Orange Cassidy winning back the International Title while Hikaru Shida became AEW Women’s Champion again. It also featured Adam Copeland’s in-ring debut in AEW – a win over Luchasaurus.
On Wednesday afternoon, the ratings came out to show a dominant victory for WWE. The WWE NXT show drew an average total viewership of 921,000 viewers and earned a 0.3 rating in the 18-49-year-old demographic. AEW Dynamite drew a total average viewership of 609,000 viewers and a 0.26 rating in the key demographic.
That meant that the NXT show drew 300,000+ more fans although the 18-49 key demo was pretty close.
After the ratings came out, AEW CEO & GM Tony Khan sent out a tweet/X taking a shot at WWE legends John Cena and The Undertaker for being on a show with under 1 million viewers.
“This week, 2 active decades-long ratings streaks from 2 great legends were ended With all due respect, until this week’s head-to-head AEW on TBS vs WWE on USA, neither John Cena nor Undertaker had ever been on a WWE show with under 1 million total viewers + under 400k in the demo”
Many people criticized Khan for being bitter about losing. Meanwhile, others simply want him to stop commenting publicly as much as he does.
People within WWE view Tony Khan’s tweets as a “declaration of war”
In the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer wrote about Tony Khan’s comments while noting that people within WWE feel like it was a declaration of war.
“Tony Khan noted that the ‘no million’ tweet was a response to the endless people who tweet at him every Thursday after the show does usually the top one or two numbers of the previous night, but that’s considered bad because they don’t hit one million viewers. There was also a strategic message in posting in the sense the one million post came at the same time he released the Jay White vs. Penta match for next week, with the idea that the post would lead to more engagement for the announcement of that match.”
“Those in WWE did contact us very quickly after that post with the idea that it was like they saw it as a declaration of war by still discussing the subject. Of course that declaration really dates back to January 2019.”
The reference to January 2019 is when AEW launched as a company and several big names from WWE joined the company including Chris Jericho & Jim Ross. Jon Moxley would join AEW in May as well.