AEW superstar Matt Hardy was the latest guest on the Wrestling Perspective podcast to discuss a wide range of topics, most notably how the launch of the promotion has forced WWE chairman Vince McMahon to change his ways and become competitive once again. Highlights are below.
How Vince put NXT up against AEW to hurt their audience:
It really shows how much AEW is changing and causing the business to evolve in many capacities. Vince McMahon is so protective of his IP and the WWE and because AEW has been as hot as it is, whenever Dynamite started, he took NXT and said, ‘I’m not really worried. If we have to sacrifice NXT, it’s fine, let’s put them head to head.’ With the Wednesday Night Wars, AEW won that, and Vince McMahon specifically put that NXT head-to-head against AEW to try and cut into the audience and try to slow us down from gaining any momentum on his Raw and SmackDown viewerships. That was his initial mindset behind it. Once we started…Tony was working with other places with IMPACT, you had guys coming from New Japan, NWA, it really made it so compelling and interesting to watch.
Says without AEW Vince doesn’t try and open the Forbidden Door:
You wanted to tune in every single week. Besides the great action and great All Elite Wrestling talent, you never knew who could show up. This appearance of Mickie James in the Royal Rumble, I feel like Vince was pushed to do this because now he has to continue to keep up with AEW and how they are unpredictable and how you never know who is going to show up. I feel if there’s no AEW, if there’s no forbidden door, Vince doesn’t do that and doesn’t bring outside talent into the Royal Rumble. It’s great for the business in general because it has pushed Vince to change. I feel most people would agree with me on this. Vince and WWE became stagnant over all those years where there was no competition and he wasn’t pushed.
(H/T and transcribed by Fightful)