It sure seems like WWE thinks so, given that they reportedly recognized AEW as such in a meeting and that they decided to air EVOLVE on the WWE Network for the first time opposite an AEW show for which the proceeds of the gate go to victims of violent crimes. However, wrestler-turned-actor David Bautista said he doesn’t think AEW is serious competition for WWE, citing the older company’s global reach, and it turns out AEW announcer Jim Ross has similar views.
“I get a kick out of some of these amateur analysts, armchair analysts, that want to bring up, ‘Well, it’s gonna be competition.’ ‘Oh, AEW’s gonna be great competition with WWE.’ Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? Right now? Maybe someday, they’ll be a competitor. But WWE’s got such a long head-start on everybody. They’ve got that global footprint. You know, it’s a publicly-traded company, they’ve got money! They’ve got huge money from these TV deals. Nobody’s gonna catch WWE, and that should not be anybody’s goal. It sure as hell isn’t mine. I don’t care what they do, I hope they do well. I’ve got friends that work there, and they made me a lot of money and I’m very blessed.”
The announcer added that he isn’t focused on how WWE does right now, but rather how AEW does.