WWE Champion Big E says pro wrestling is in a good spot as it heads toward the end of 2021. But he also wants to see WWE step up its game to meet recent changes to the industry’s landscape.
“I know, from a fan perspective, a lot of people would prefer that I come in here and trash talk everyone in AEW and stir the pot,” Big E told The Illuminerdi. “But that’s not my style.”
Big E has seen what AEW is offering on its weekly TV shows and its pay-per-views, and he’s impressed by the passion of the AEW fans. He says competition can be good for everyone, but WWE must meet the challenge.
“I think it forces us to raise our game,” Big E said. “If you watch their shows, and you see rabid fans/people losing their minds and people loving those shows. It should make us want to say, ‘Yo! We want to be dominating them. We want to step our game up. We want to put on the better show.'”
The rise of AEW has provided an attractive landing spot for wrestlers who leave WWE. Big E singled that out as a welcome change to the business.
“I think it’s just also very good we have men and women who may not fit here in WWE, who may not want – whatever it is,” Big E explained. “But now they have a place they can go. And they can wrestle. They can make money. They can live their dream. They can be on TV, so I think it’s great.”
Big E is also excited about the growing diversity of talents across pro wrestling and sees more black wrestlers today than he did when he was just breaking into the business. He also wants to know that opportunities for black wrestlers are earned and deserved, not simply given.
“I especially, and I think the vast majority of us, we don’t want a quota system,” Big E said. “We don’t want a system where, ‘Oh, we need more diversity. So let’s just put some random black talent or person of color in this position just because we need more diversity.’ No. When you saw Sasha and Bianca main event on night 1 of WrestleMania, to me, it was a no-brainer. It wasn’t a gift that they were given. No. They were incredible characters, incredible personalities, incredible in the ring. They put on a classic. They deserved to be there. They killed it. They owned that moment.”
Big E is hopeful that WWE and the rest of pro wrestling will continue to move forward. He wants to see opportunities for wrestlers of all backgrounds.
“I hope that our roster just reflects the world that we live in,” Big E continued. “And whether it’s black talent, LGBTQ talent, Hispanic talent, Japanese talent, I think we should continue to reflect the society and the world that we live in.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Illuminerdi with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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