It has been a crazy couple of weeks in the world of professional wrestling and sports entertainment. AEW continues to be the hottest company by providing an alternative to the mainstream that is WWE And if you did not believe AEW was making an impact before just look at what they are forcing WWE to do with their programming on Mondays and Fridays, specifically Monday. Competition is a good thing. It is something wrestling fans have desperately needed for a long time. However, if you ask anyone in WWE they still do not believe AEW is a threat. But like in the 1990s WWF(E) was in denial about WCW, the same thing is happening now with AEW.
AEW Forces RAW Programming To Change
Heading into this week’s edition of Monday Night Raw, the original plan was for the Raw Tag Team Titles to be on the line as Randy Orton and Riddle defended against MVP and Bobby Lashley. WWE spent the previous Raw booking a gauntlet to determine the number one contenders for those belts. However, that went out the window once AEW Dynamite beat Raw in the ratings. More specifically the key 19-49 demo. Things had been trendings in that direction, but once it happened WWE had to hotshot the Extreme Rules match between Orton and Lashley for the title and put it on Raw.
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WWE stated they did these changes because of Monday Night Football returning. And there are a lot of fans and those inside the company that truly believe that. But come on now if you believe that then there is something wrong with you. WWE knew about the NFL returning for months now. Not to mention the fact that every year at this time WWE loses viewers to the NFL on Monday nights.
The real reason they did this was because of AEW. WWE continues to brush them off as competition, but they are acknowledging their existence by changing their programming around. WWE felt it was necessary to put the title match on RAW with the potential of a surprise to help boost ratings.
Unfortunately, this did not help. Raw was saved from a historically low rating thanks to Big E teasing and ultimately cashing in his Money in the Bank contract. Maybe this would have happened at Extreme Rules, but who knows. Big E got a pop he definitely deserved for winning the WWE Championship and the crowd went nuts for him. But it felt rushed because WWE is scrambling as fans are going to an alternative.
Hot Shotting Things Never Works
It will be interesting to see where Raw goes from here. WWE has been forced to hot-shot programming before. Just look at NXT before the reboot on Tuesday, September 14th. NXT had to counter-program every Wednesday night because of what AEW was doing. And while both companies said there was no war going on. One company was reacting to what another company was doing. WWE continues to remain in denial another company exists despite being called out by one of their current employees. WWE is stuck doing things their way. Maybe losing in the ratings is a wake-up call that they need change. But then again with WWE who knows.
One thing is for sure AEW is a force to reckoned with and WWE better realize that before it is too late. Leaving in the past does not work it is time for new stars to shine.