During the latest episode of The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy, several topics relating to Vince McMahon's WWE return were touched upon.
Highlights are below.
On his personal perspective of what McMahon’s return means: “First and foremost, I just wanna say, since we recorded our last pod, it was after we had recorded [that] we heard all this Vince McMahon insanity, and now Vince McMahon is back, and he is the head, he is sitting as the head of the table of WWE currently, and we also have Stephanie gone. So there’s obviously been a big shakeup. There’s a lot of sales, rumors, and innuendo going around. If you ask me, more than anything, who benefits from all this? I would say AEW. So I’m very happy to be at AEW currently right now. AEW has been producing great content, I think, and one thing I love about it, at WWE, they’re posting games with thrones. It’s like in and out, who can retain the power, and who can backstab, or who can get someone else out, or how can I get back in, whatever it may be. Here, fortunately, it is just TK [Tony Khan] sitting in the iron throne.”
On why he belives AEW stands to profit from the instability at WWE: “Because in chaos, there is opportunity. WWE, for many, many years, has been the leader in pro wrestling and sports entertainment. But I mean now, it’s really in a chaotic state. I mean it was very controversial whenever Vince ended up leaving, some of the accusations and whatnot. I don’t know, considering how much pro wrestling has started to begin mirroring society, which is a good thing that it has, it’s no longer the Wild West, it is starting to try and mirror society and run parallel to how society is, be a little bit more moral. But the Vince thing could end up being very controversial because there’s a lot of skeletons in those closets. It’s just gonna be really interesting to see where WWE lies in six months from now. But as I said earlier, in chaos, there is opportunity. I just think all this chaos going on I think is gonna be beneficial to Tony Khan and AEW more than anybody. I think AEW has bought and earned a lot of goodwill with wrestling, and I think now with this WWE stuff going on, AEW benefits from that because they’re like, ‘Well, AEW benefits from that because they’re like, ‘Well, I know we have AEW, and they’re very good to us.’ They’re good to their fans, and they seek to be run by a good human being. I will emphasize that Tony Khan is an amazing and phenomenal human being.”
On how AEW is primed to capitalize on their relationship with their fanbase: “Once again, as I say, in chaos, there is opportunity, and there is a lot of chaos going on right now in WWE. There are so many question marks, there are so many unknowns. But week in and week out, I feel like Tony has built good will with wrestling fans. He has also proven AEW’s worth and really instilled equity in AEW by having one of the top-rated programs every single week. It’s a very consistent thing. AEW is always in the mix of the top shows on cable every single week. That is what advertisers look. Our demographic numbers are usually pretty strong as well, and it’s really worked hard to continue to build equity over these last few years into getting a bigger rights deal whenever we start exploring things again. It’s gonna be real exciting, and I think this internal change in WWE, with Vince coming back, where there was some goodwill with the fans, they felt like they were being listened to a little more. It wasn’t like, ‘Damn it, there’s a pandemic. Fire 80 people immediately.’ I feel like the goodwill between the fans and AEW being so consistent from a ratings number and being one of the top-ranked TV shows and having a great demo every single week. I feel like they’re in a prime position to capitalize. If something goes awry with this whole WWE scenario, then they exponentially have a chance to capitalize. So I think [for] AEW, this is gonna end up being a win-win for them.”
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