WWE had its second-quarter earnings conference call today and on it, Vince McMahon addressed All Elite Wrestling, the new major player in the American wrestling scene that will have a TV show airing on TNT this October. He also addressed the reports that WWE is working to appeal to younger viewers with edgier programming and compared what they’ll be doing to what we’ve already seen from the company that he, along with the likes of Booker T and Stephanie McMahon, has now acknowledged as “competition.”
According to McMahon,
We’re gonna be a bit edgier, but still remain in the PG environment. We won’t come anywhere close to going into another level. That will be something we do in terms of the direction of content, more controversy, and better storylines. At the same time, we’re not going to go back to the Attitude Era. We’re not gonna do blood and guts, such as being done on perhaps a new potential competitor. We’re not going to go back to that gory crap that we graduated from. It’s a more sophisticated product… As far as competition is concerned, the old adage is “competition is good for everyone,” I think that’s generally the case.
McMahon continued in the “blood and guts” vein, suggesting that too much viscera would get AEW in trouble with TNT.
We’re hoping that, to the extent that they are competition, they don’t continue with blood and guts and gory things that they have been doing, which would be bad. I can’t imagine, I can’t speak for TNT, but I can’t imagine they would put up with that.
While AEW has featured a fair amount the type of violence people don’t normally see on WWE these days – the amount of blood during Cody vs. Dustin, the hardcore weapons used during Jon Moxley vs. Joey Janela, the chair shot to Cody’s head that freaked some people out so much that AEW officials quickly admitted the chair was gimmicked – Cody has said that while “there’s not any guidelines to how our pay-per-views are going to be” in terms of violence, viewers “won’t see that necessarily on a weekly broadcast on TNT.”