No matter how much WWE will admit it, they are staring direct competition in the face with the arrival of AEW. Famed wrestling journalist talked about AEW's affect on WWE when Apter spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast.
"No matter how much they say AEW and Starrcast are not together…for the WWE to react by putting on the Bret Hart-Tom Magee match on the Network, knowing that will be screened at Starrcast, I think they are looking at little things that might affect [AEW]. Taking The Undertaker and Kurt Angle out of Starrcast is sending a message that we might be a little concerned at what's going on here," said Apter.
He then talked about how we don't know what a weekly AEW show looks like yet but knows there will be a lot of people not familiar with the product and he wants to know if AEW can sustain more than their fanbase.
"How are they gonna reach out and get more people to support that fanbase? The general fans that doesn't follow all this on the internet, the 10 and 12-year-olds that watch WWE, they probably have no idea that another company is going out. How does AEW get to those kids," asked Apter.
"I think they are going to need every fan they can get to sustain their product. They are a very cool product and very "with it." They have a ton of money behind them, but so did Ted Turner.
Apter then mentioned how WWE runs a ton of house shows and AEW may not use that model, they may just focus on TV.
One of the principals behind AEW is Cody Rhodes and Apter praised Cody for showing the "guts" to leave WWE.
"Cody Rhodes was the first guy to have the testicular fortitude to say that I'm not being used right and there has to be something else out there," stated Apter. "When he went to the indies, he knew he couldn't live like this. For he and The Bucks to start something between WWE and the indies, and then make it rise to this level…this is absolutely amazing."
Being around his father, Apter has known Cody since he was a young kid and he talked about memories of a young Cody.
"He played all sports, ran around a lot, traveled with his dad periodically and came to the shows," said Apter. "He probably absorbed all this knowledge without really just sitting down and saying, 'So how do you do this?'"
Apter's full interview with Wrestling Inc was included as part of a recent episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post. In it Apter discusses his close relationships with Bruiser Brody and The Von Erichs, the reported friction between Triple H and Vince McMahon, WWE's declining ratings, how AEW's TNT deal will affect WWE, his love of karaoke and upcoming appearances at Starrcast 2 and more.
You can check out past episodes of the WINCLY here.