WWE Executive Admits AEW Scared Them

AEW WWE Logo Over Royal Rumble

The rise of AEW shook up WWE back in 2019.

After years of WWE dominating the wrestling landscape, AEW launched in 2019 with the aim of becoming the first genuine competition to the sports entertainment giant since WCW.

The upstart promotion had wrestlers in high-ranking positions and secured the signings of Kenny Omega, Chris Jericho, Jon Moxley, and more as it began to establish itself.

AEW quickly gained momentum with a passionate fanbase, and fans were quick to question whether its presence was causing any nervousness in WWE. Despite this being dismissed at the time, Road Dogg has now admitted that WWE was “scared” of their new rival.

Speaking on Oh You Didn’t Know, WWE’s Senior Vice President of Live Events broke down the impact that AEW had.

“I don’t know how to articulate it exactly. But it was a period where it was like, oh, okay, we’re not the only ones anymore. We’re not Lone Rangers anymore. And when they started getting hot for a little while, it got even scarier a little bit. It was like, they are giving the fans what they want. I think the IWC, the Internet wrestling community, thinks they’re the only fans out there. And I think the ratings prove there are more than just that on a weekly basis.

We were scared of them. Yeah, they started great, they were giving everybody exactly what they wanted. But then they realised they have to do it 52 times a year. And so now they’re catching up. But yeah, I can’t say we because you said what was I doing? I thought that was reason for concern. And it’s not concern of Oh, God, there goes the neighbourhood, roll up the shutters. It’s just like, Okay, we ain’t the only player in the game anymore.”

AEW And WWE In Tug Of War Over Mercedes Mone

When Mercedes Mone appeared in the crowd at All In, it seemed that a deal with AEW was a formality, however, things haven’t quite played out that way.

Although the star was in talks with AEW, the trail went cold and it was reported she had been in discussions with WWE in late 2023, but those talks fell apart. This paved the way for Mone to move to AEW — the Tony Khan-led promotion is expected to be her next destination.

Incredibly, despite this, some within WWE believe that Mercedes Mone could show up at the Royal Rumble, and her status has been kept a secret.

H/t to ITRWrestling