Seeing as Vince McMahon doesn't see Impact, ROH or New Japan as competition, it is surprising that the Chairman appears to be defensive regarding AEW. WWE has been offering big money to talent whose contracts are coming up to remain with the company, even if they aren't being used.
WWE Co-President and a member of their Board of Directors, George Barrios, was asked about AEW being competition when he had a fireside chat at the 47th Annual J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference in Boston.
"The best comment I've ever heard was from Reed Hastings who said, 'Sleep is competition.' He nailed it. You are competing for people's time. So, whether it's Fortnite, the NBA, Kung Fu novels – we are fighting for people's time," said Barrios.
"So, everyone is a competitor at everything. So yeah, AEW has announced and welcome to the game."
You could argue that Fortnite, NBA and Kung Fu novels are all indirect competition to WWE. Yes, they are competing for time with WWE but it's not in the wrestling or sports entertainment market.
AEW has reportedly landed its much talked about TV deal with WCW's old network in Turner. The deal is said to be "virtually done" and is expected to be announced on Wednesday in New York City for the WarnerMedia Upfronts.
Their TV show is reportedly going to air on Tuesdays just when SmackDown is leaving for Fridays, but that information is expected to be confirmed at the Upfronts. Make sure to join us Wednesday morning for all of the announcements coming out of the event.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.