For better or worse, a lot of wrestling fans are as interested in how WWE reacts to the arrival of AEW on the wrestling scene as they are in how AEW does at creating their own wrestling product. It made news a month ago when backstage reports said that Stephanie McMahon had mentioned the new promotion in a speech to the roster, even as Booker T discussed the oncoming possibility of competition in terms of “war.” WWE even let Sami Zayn namedrop AEW on Raw a couple of days after their wildly successful first PPV, Double Or Nothing. There were rumors at the time that it was his unplanned adlib, but now that almost a month has passed and he doesn’t seem to have gotten in trouble, surely we can admit that it had to be scripted. Now Stephanie McMahon has gone on the record with a quick take on the situation.
A Wrestling Inc reporter approached Stephanie at an airport, and asked her what she thinks about AEW as competition, and she responded, “You know, I think it’s going to force everybody to be the best that they can.” Asked to confirm that she thinks competition is good for the business, she simply said “Yes,” and hurried away.
You’d think that everyone at WWE would already be trying “to be the best that they can,” particularly considering some of the recent ratings, but of course this was a situation where the reporter was bothering Steph on her own personal time, while she was on her way somewhere, so it was pretty accommodating of her to give an answer at all.