Wrestling fans were a bit taken aback on Monday night when out of the blue, Sami Zayn name-dropped All Elite Wrestling on Monday’s RAW episode. During a segment called “Electric Chair”, he bashed fans for not asking better questions and said, “You could have asked me about anything! You could have asked me about AEW!”
When WWE uploaded the YouTube footage of that segment, they edited out that portion of the video. The mention of AEW got people wondering and the edit of the video added fuel to the fire, ‘Was this AEW reference on purpose?’
Related: Sami Zayn Mentions AEW During Raw
According to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, the questions in the segment were from real fans, however, their questions were screened. Meltzer also noted that this was scripted and planned, but that a backstage source noted that the AEW mention “was so f–king stupid.” and that people in WWE were wondering why the company would do such a foolish thing.
Meltzer’s co-host, Brian Alvarez, said that he heard from a different source that the line wasn’t scripted, however, Meltzer noted that the person who he spoke to was in the meeting before the show where it was brought up and approved.
WWE Is Clearly Rattled
Either way, knowing WWE worked AEW into this segment, and perhaps built the entire thing around mentioning it on tv shows that the company is rattled by their new competition.
There’s not a fear (at least not yet) of AEW surpassing WWE or really hurting them financially, but their early success isn’t something Vince McMahon seems comfortable with.
If he and the WWE continue to drop the ball like they did on Monday, they’re simply making it easier for AEW to take a huge chunk of the current wrestling marketplace.
WWE needs to get their head in the game and do so before AEW has a weekly television program in October.