WWE has dealt with other wrestling companies in the past and has always survived the fight, whether it's the WCW or the TNA and most likely even the AEW.
With this I do not mean that the fate of AEW is sealed or that it will not be a possible player in the Pro Wrestling scenario but simply that it will have to spend many more resources to increase its notoriety, hire the best talents and be able to expand in many important arenas for gain public favor to worry WWE as a real competitor.
Likewise, WWE will also have to get more involved and try to improve and renew its product to stay competitive and not lose its market share.
One of the great flaws of WWE in my opinion is that of being too subject to always repeating the same patterns both with storylines and with the development of talents, destroying many times its own nascent or growing Superstars in favor of the usual "Top Guy" repurposed now as Babyface now as Heel. In some cases a change of Gimmick or attitude can save the career of a Wrestler (as happened with Hulk Hogan with the Hollywood Hogan version at the time of the NWO or in more recent times with Roman Reigns) but changing it too often ends up giving the idea that there are no long-term plans (like the many changes between Heel and Face by Randy Orton and Big Show) or that you don't know how to manage talent growth. Of course, it is also necessary to adapt everything in relation to possible injuries or the commitments of the Superstars even outside the ring for tours or promotional events, interviews and films.
The first point in WWE's favor is to learn from its rivals especially when they come up with interesting ideas or when they make mistakes.
A small company must necessarily look for new ways and propose new ideas to be able to establish itself, achieve notoriety and create an audience.
Examples of these could be the cinematic encounters made by the Hardys and their way of narrating the Broken Universe that was used in WWE to give characteristic elements also to the Wyatt Family with the feud against the New Day or more recently to characterize "The Fiend ”Bray Wyatt or for the match between The Undertaker and AJ Styles at Wrestlemania.
Similarly, the AEW also has access to these techniques as demonstrated in the match Sting and Darby Allin against Team Taz, moreover the AEW has a greater propensity to use tools such as Youtube to broadcast secondary programs and make sure that even secondary characters they can be able to make themselves known and obtain an audience as well as open up to a different market and test new technologies.
Another point in favor for the WWE is to be able to renew their roster and be able to reshuffle the cards.
With a competitor, those athletes who are not satisfied with their condition can try to rebuild a career elsewhere (such as Dean Ambrose / Jon Moxley or Rusev / Miro), thus opening up new spaces for new talents from NXT to move to the main roster or it is possible to raise the mid carters to a higher level to make them grow.
An example of this is when prominent characters like Hulk Hogan and Bret "The Hitman" Hart moved to WCW allowing the likes of The Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels and Triple H to find more breathing room and greater television minutes, increasing their popularity.
Likewise, the AEW can also become a source of new WWE athletes if someone wants to take the big leap or AEW can allow the relaunch of under-exploited talent in WWE so that they can gain experience or try new Gimmicks and return to WWE with an awareness of their means and an audience that supports them.
Examples of these can be for example the Hardys or the Dudleys who rebuilt themselves in TNA and tried new impossible paths in WWE such as the Broken Universe or the character of Bully Ray.
Another example can be that of Ric Flair in TNA who led to the creation of the promo with Jay Lethal extremely characterized and very funny, something that in WWE could not have happened.
A small negative point for WWE is to consider what happens outside WWE as "non-canon" for the wrestler's history and is not used for storylines.
Ok, of course there may be problems with the use of IP registered by other companies but I am also referring to the fact that collaborations are not made very often with other companies both inside and outside the United States.
An example of this is that Ric Flair has won far more world titles than are recognized today by the WWE just because they involve companies other than his own or no longer in business.
Or how Christian in WWE was known only as Edge's tag team partner and not as a superstar with excellent potential even as a single.
Similarly, Jeff Hardy in WWE is "just" Matt Hardy's brother while other versions of the character simply don't exist (Brother Nero, Willow, etc.).
Another advantage for WWE for talent management is when Legends or high-paying characters are passed to rival companies, sinking their budgets and driving them to bankruptcy.
This does not always happen but sometimes WWE maintains legendary contracts just to prevent them from competing and can sponsor WWE Network content or offer dedicated Merchandise in the Stores or for an annual Raw "get-together episode" when other ideas are scarce or just for Nostalgia.
When these Legends pass to rival companies they very often help to get a quick hit of popularity but after a while the novelty factor goes out and, if the new company has not been able to convert the gained popularity into more revenue, they remain as costs on the new company that probably does not have the means to sustain very expensive engagements in the long term, taking away important resources to acquire new talent or make other important investments.
At the same time, WWE can set aside economic resources to make investments, hire new talent from rival companies or to reprise the legends at a lower price once they return to the market.
Another point in favor is that very often the direct competition between WWE and a rival attracts public attention on different media be it the Monday Night War or the Wednesday Night War or a discussion on social networks between the different Superstars and this serves to give once again media coverage of the discipline.
Often, without a competitor, the WWE itself has to engage in internal rivalries between its brands in order to have access to greater media attention or to resort to Draft in order to be able to shuffle everything and prevent it from becoming too stagnant.
This happens for example with specific PPVs such as Survivor Series where different teams face each other or where particular factions invade other WWE brands such as success with the Nexus or other invasions by NXT to the major brands or the temporary return of the ECW.
The presence of a competitor in the same time slot is therefore a sort of catalyst that helps to obtain higher expectations from the public and better plays as well as the return of old fans.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Christian Allasia