The piece noted how AEW is "making a significant bet" on relative unknown Nyla Rose, as the first openly transgender wrestler to sign with a major promotion in the United States. Rose will face Riho next Wednesday night to crown the first-ever AEW Women's Champion. It also pointed to how AEW will have a focus on diversity and inclusion in the ring, the audience, and the front office.
WarnerMedia's Brett Weitz, who is the general manager for TNT, TBT and truTV, spoke with The Post and said AEW's diversity will be empowering for people.
"We expect the ring to look like the world does," Weitz said. "When you open up the prism and spread the lens out wider and show people that you as a consumer are represented here... that's really empowering for people."
AEW Chief Brand Officer Brandi Rhodes was touted as the first African American woman to hold an executive position with a major North American wrestling promotion. She said one of AEW's core values is being open to inclusivity and diversity.
"[We're] looking at everybody as a wrestling star," Brandi explained. "Sometimes people see wrestlers for other attributes they have — their race, gender or sexuality — we just see this person as an incredible athlete, and we need them on our team."
Going back to Rose, it was noted how AEW has not turned Rose's gender into storyline material. Rose said that was big for her.
"That was a huge thing for me," Rose said, adding that "transphobic critics who say AEW is shoving [her gender] down their throats couldn't be more wrong." She added, "Nobody said anything!"
Rose also commented on dealing with critics and hecklers on a daily basis, whether they're online or at live events.
"It's a little hard to see such hateful, spiteful vitriol being spewed daily," Rose said. "It doesn't cost you anything to use my proper pronouns. That's how I identify, that's who I am, that's not a character, that doesn't go away when the camera stops rolling."
The Post noted that AEW is working to remove hate speech from their events. Rose praised AEW for making everyone feel welcome.
"It's awesome to have a company have your back like that," Rose said. "They're taking steps as best they can to make sure it's a safe space for everyone, so everyone feels welcome."
The Post also noted that AEW and TNT are banking on inclusion and diversity, along with a sports-centered approach to pro wrestling, will provide them with staying power in the industry, especially while in the shadow of WWE. Regarding how the WWE NXT series was moved to Wednesday nights on the USA Network to go head-to-head with AEW Dynamite on TNT, the move has made AEW and TNT confident that they are onto something big. Weitz said he was surprised that Vince McMahon went on the defensive as fast as he did.
"It's really rare for a challenger to be on offense right out of the gate and I'm surprised Vince went to defense as fast as he did," Weitz said. "I don't think a monarchy can last forever."
AEW World Champion Chris Jericho also spoke to The Post for the piece, and said he doesn't care about a Wednesday Night War. Jericho remembers how WCW paid too much attention to WWE back during the Monday Night Wars, and ultimately paid for it.
"I don't care [about counterprogramming]. Put on NXT, put on the Super Bowl, put on the return of Jesus Christ from above," Jericho said. "We're just worrying about ourselves and worrying about putting on the best show we can."
AEW Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes said it's "romantic" how AEW has partnered with the same network that hosted WCW until 2001, but he isn't looking to continue what WCW was doing then.
"It would be real easy to play the old songs... but we have to give [the audience] progressive, forward-thinking, sports-centered wrestling," Cody said.
The Post noted that the product will highlight different styles of in-ring work - "Southern-style storytelling, athletic showcases, tag team dramatics, brawling, or styles imported from Mexico and Japan."
They said it may even get more violent than what WWE does on their PG programming. "I wouldn't be shocked to see Jimmy Havoc come out with a staple gun every now and then," added AEW Executive Vice President Matt Jackson of The Young Bucks.