Doc Gallows: WWE "Feels The Heat" From AEW
AEW's rise has forced some changes within WWE
AEW’s continued rise has changed wrestling whether we like it or not. It has forced WWE into making some major decisions for a start, with the launch of NXT 2.0 seen as direct response to AEW ‘winning’ the Wednesday Night Wars.
Doc Gallows is no stranger to both companies, and in conversation with The MCW Cast, the IMPACT World Tag Team Champion spoke of how WWE has reacted to AEW:
“I got a lot of friends at WWE. I’m glad WWE exists because that’s what I like as a fan,” Gallows said. “They’re gonna do it their way, and that’s gonna be it. We just saw that with NXT. They killed their own model because the guy in charge didn’t like it. A serious change. We just signed those massive contracts, and then the pandemic hit and they did all those cuts, but the reason the contracts got so huge to begin with was to fight off AEW. It did not work, and even guys who got ‘fired’ went and got hotter or left on their own and got hotter. It helped.”
WWE are still the market leader for pro wrestling by a wide margin, but AEW’s rise has rocked the boat more than anyone was expecting. Could WWE take a fall in the next five-to-ten years?
“Who knows because the WWE is the face of what pro wrestling is. They’re always gonna grab the casual fan,” Gallows noted. “I like Roman Reigns, personally, a lot. I was reading an interview where he was basically saying, ‘We’re gonna do it our way. We want the casual fan,’ and I guess on the inside, you can say what you want, but you feel the heat from them, they feel like everyone who doesn’t watch them, we’re just this weird hardcore fanbase, but I think what you’re looking over is the fact the weird hardcore fanbase, all of us, we’re growing larger, and larger and larger. And now, you and I who grew up as fans as a kid, we have an entertainment dollar, and we want to spend it on wrestling. It doesn’t have to be one thing.”
One easily identifiable difference between AEW and WWE is how both companies use legends from wrestling’s past:
“They’re [AEW] not afraid to put some of these awesome veterans, legends on TV,” Gallows pointed out. “WWE has just this entertainment mentality. I feel like wrestling has been on the fringe of that. They might say, ‘Those guys, they’re too old to be on TV,’ but to us, as fans, we don’t care about that.’ You’re gonna bring on the Four Horsemen and have them on television, huge fan. I think it’s cool. It’s the lineage of wrestling. It’s the history of why we’re all into it, and you’re telling a story coming back to something from 20 years before. Seeing a team like FTR, that’s a totally throwback and then being like, it would be cool if they had Tully Blanchard, and they do it.”
H/T: Wrestling Inc.