Arguably the most interesting quotes from Thursday’s WWE Q2 financial call came from Vince McMahon when he was asked about AEW — one of which has people trying to figure out what the chairman was trying to say.
During the Q&A portion of the investors’ call, McMahon was asked about whether he sees AEW as competition given their recent success and whether he feels the need to counter them with investing in more talent since they may eventually compete for media rights. The caller also asked if it could be a “rising tide lifts all boats” situation.
“It’s certainly not a situation where rising tides because….that was when Ted Turner was coming after us with all of Time Warner’s assets. That was a different situation. AEW is where they are. I really don’t know what their plans are. All I know is what our plans are. I don’t consider them competition in the way that I would consider WCW back in the day — not anywhere near close to that. I’m not so sure what their investments are as far as their talent is concerned…but perhaps we can give them some more (inaudible).”
The final few words had some people confused as to what McMahon meant because his voice got low and it was hard to understand, leading to speculation as to whether McMahon was indicating that AEW could sign more released talent as they have been doing as of late.
However, immediately after speaking, WWE president Nick Khan added some thoughts so it seems more likely that McMahon was verbally handing it over to Khan to share a few words.
Khan equated WWE to being in a horse race and that they have blinders on, looking straight ahead and making sure they stay in front of the pack. He reiterated the “everything is competition” line he and Paul Levesque have used before, stealing a line from Netflix’s Reed Hastings that sleep is their competition.
“If it was up to us, people could be up 24 hours a day watching content from different content providers, hopefully including ours. We don’t look at any organization particularly as competition. Yet we see everything as competitive with what we’re trying to do in terms of eyeballs,” he said.