WWE and AEW have taken some veiled shots at each other since Dynamite debuted last fall and NXT hit the airwaves on USA Network about one month earlier. However, the companies seem to be taking their shots up a notch in recent weeks.
There have been one ongoing news story that intertwined both companies together. Renee Young, a WWE interviewer and wife of AEW Champion Jon Moxley, revealed last week that she tested positive for COVID-19. Moxley’s main-event title defense against Brian Cage scheduled for next week’s Dynamite episode has been postponed due to Moxley living with someone who is COVID-19 positive. AEW, clearly not thrilled that they lost a main-event match, rescheduled the title defense to the following week’s episode and it’s now scheduled for July 15, which will be more than three weeks after Young first tested positive (and as of this article, Moxley has tested negative at least twice).
Tazz, a former WWE announcer who is now commentating and managing Cage in AEW, took a shot at WWE during this past Wednesday’s episode of Dynamite.
“If you decide to get your ass here to work next week, you would get tested again here in AEW, because Jon, as you know, we don’t run a sloppy shop,” he said.
WWE was reportedly very upset at the “sloppy shop” line, despite the fact that the company has had multiple COVID positives over the last several weeks. After the positive tests, WWE has moved to actual testing for talent, which is something AEW has reportedly been doing for months. WWE, until the positive tests began to arise, were having talent and staff fill out a form stating that they had not been in contact with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 and they were checking the temperature of talent and staff before they entered the WWE Performance Center.
The war of words doesn’t end there, though.
For a second straight week, NXT beat Dynamite in total viewership, but Dynamite beat out NXT in the ratings for the key 18-49 demographic.
NXT drew a total of 792,000 viewers and Dynamite hit at 748,000 viewers according to Showbuzz Daily. That’s a small margin of victory for WWE in overall viewership.
AEW drew a 0.29 rating (which is up 32 percent) in the 18-49 demo while NXT has continued to trend older, pulling in a 0.22 rating in the demo.
Chris Jericho took to Twitter on Thursday pointing out the difference and claiming victory for AEW.
“Here’s a lesson about television ratings kids,” Jericho tweeted. “Last night @AEWrestling was NUMBER 6 in the 18-49 demo. To tv networks & advertisers it’s the ONLY number that matters and we were up 31% in that area! So once again #AEWDynamite is the REAL winner in the Wed night ratings war!”
Of course, AEW also recently debuted FTR (formerly the Revival in WWE). While the “war” was slow to start, it seems the vitriol has been amped up in recent weeks. Don’t expect it to cool down anytime soon, either.