WWE held a talent meeting prior to Sunday night’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view in Hartford, Connecticut, reportedly led by Stephanie McMahon.
Among the topics of discussion, according to Dave Meltzer of F4WOnline.com, were the various forms of competition WWE is up against from all manner of entertainment options, including sports, movies, popular television shows, video games and — here’s the kicker — their brand new television rival, All Elite Wrestling.
What’s notable about this is that WWE having talent meetings where they address the company brand and how well they’re doing socially is normal practice for the company, but they’ve never actually (at least since the close of WCW) referred to another wrestling promotion as competition.
Even during TNA’s higher ratings on Spike TV they were never really considered “competition” by WWE officials, even when TNA was constantly firing shots across the bow on weekly television. Their method has generally been to ignore rather than bring attention to.
Last week at the WarnerMedia 2019 upfronts in New York, it was confirmed that All Elite Wrestling had signed a deal to bring a weekly wrestling program to primetime television on the TNT network.
It was later reported that WarnerMedia is actually picking up the tab for weekly production costs, which not even WWE has in their incredibly lucrative contracts with NBC Universal and Fox, as episodes of live wrestling television can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not more in WWE’s case) to produce, and historically, wrestling doesn’t have an off-season.