The WWE sale is a major story and rumors of AEW leadership’s interest in buying the product should cause concern.
The WWE sale will be the biggest story of 2023. Something catastrophic must happen to snatch away that award from that budding story less than two weeks into the new year. Rumors bubbled up this week about the Khan family being a potential suitor in the race to purchase WWE. Many fans cheered the mere mention of the idea, continuing the unfortunate tribalism that has been an issue for years. However, all aspects of history point toward examples where this situation would harm the industry. Especially when it comes to the wrestlers and the fans that consume the product.
At its basic level, a monopoly is a situation in which an organization creates an absence of competition and becomes the sole provider of a product. AEW purchasing WWE would not create a monopoly. Fans would still have access to New Japan Pro Wrestling, Impact Wrestling, AAA, Stardom, WOW, and many other independent organizations throughout the world. But the ramifications of said purchase would hinder the growth that wrestling has experienced in recent years through the availability of competition.
Fans who were around for the Monday Night Wars remembered how things played out. WCW was purchased by WWE, and fans immediately thought that would set the stage for all the dream matches they spent hours debating with their friends. The exact opposite happened. Yes, some individuals like Rey Mysterio made the jump and grew in popularity. But for every Mysterio, there’s a DDP, Kidman, or Buff Bagwell who were never the same under the combined banners.
Would things be better if AEW was the largest promotion in wrestling?
AEW is still a young organization. The company was hit with early criticisms for its booking of African American wrestlers and the women’s division. While there has been improvement in recent months, that doesn’t create immediate confidence in how the company would be able to leverage a roster that suddenly included the diverse competitors that are in the WWE.
The wrestlers themselves would feel the biggest impact of losing a massive player off the board. Fans in other sports see how athletes benefit from contract negotiations, as they can get the maximum amount of money for their talents due to multiple teams being in the marketplace. WWE and AEW are two of the largest players in the game and are capable of offering big contracts. Having them in this place to compete against each other increases the money that professional wrestlers can demand. Thus, increasing their ability to make a living within their craft. Combining these two into one immediately removes that power and hinders the earning potential of the primary resource, the wrestlers.
The WWE sale is going to be a challenging story to watch for both the fans and the media members that cover this industry. The idea of who should buy the largest company in the world is one of the main talking points. It’s clear that competition is what is best for fans, wrestlers, and nearly everyone in between. Taking steps to eliminate said competition, such as AEW buying WWE, is not a positive outcome of the matter and will hinder the development of the industry.