WWE and AEW compete to see who the real wrestling cooperation champion is

Jon+Moxley+vesus+Santana+at+AEW+Dynamite%2C+Cedar+Park%2C+Texas%2C+Feb.+12%2C+2020.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons/Ralph Arvesen

Jon Moxley vesus Santana at AEW Dynamite, Cedar Park, Texas, Feb. 12, 2020.

Elisa D'Egidio, Student Life Editor

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc (WWE), formerly World Wrestling Federation (WWF), is one of the most popular wrestling promotions in the world, originating in 1953. Fast-forwarding to 2019, All Elite Wrestling (AEW) was founded by Tony Khan as one of WWE’s first competitors in more than 20 years.

During the early days of WWF, champions such as Buddy Rogers and Bruno Sammartino, the champion with the longest title reign in its history at 2,803 days, shared similar backstories and acts

In the early ‘80s, WWF became more popular as superstars such as Hulk Hogan and the Iron Sheik helped the bouts go mainstream. It’s popularity continued into the early ‘90s with stars such as Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker hitting the stage.

In 1988, Ted Turner started World Championship Wrestling, Inc. (WCW). During this time, television personality Eric Bischoff led WCW as they managed to steal WWF’s superstars as WCW’s Monday Nitro. Stars who jumped ship included Bret Hart and Ric Flair. The most famous gimmick of the New World Order (nWo), with members of Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, changed the game for wrestling entertainment. For 84 straight weeks, WCW dominated WWF in ratings.

WWF brought in superstars such as Steve Austin, The Rock and Mick Foley, and rebranded themselves to take the lead once again. WWF then bought out WCW and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) making it the dominating promotion for wrestling fans.

Edge talks to The Miz at WWE Raw, Elmont, N.Y., Nov. 29, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Instagram/WWE)

Making up a roster of stars from different promotions—Ring of Honor, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Impact Wrestling and other indie promotions– Kenny Omega, the Young Bucks, Jon Moxley and Britt Baker stole the show for AEW as they took the stage by storm. As of September 2021, 113 former WWE stars have been hired by AEW, including big names such as Bryan Danielson, Malakai Black, Adam Cole and CM Punk.

Despite publicly denying that there is competition, the two promotional companies have been leaning into this possible feud as they each take jabs at the other in promos and on social media.

During the AEW Dynamite event on Nov. 22, Punk and MJF exchanged words in the ring, cutting an exciting promo to showcase their on-going feud. Punk referred to MJF as the “less famous Miz,” referring to WWE superstar The Miz.

During WWE Hall of Famer Edge’s return to Monday Night Raw this week, The Miz and his wife Maryse interrupted his homecoming. Within the promo, Edge made reference to the Dynamite segment.

In addition to the familiar names that AEW has been picking up, they have also been highlighting younger talent such as Sammy Guevara and Darby Allin.

WWE’s Dre McIntyre holds a sword during Smackdown, San Antonio, Dec. 3. (Photo courtesy of Instagram/@wwe)

WWE appears to prefer bigger and stronger-looking superstars such as Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley, and the franchise relies heavily on their better-known wrestlers, with the help of Hall of Famer callbacks.

Since its debut, AEW has beaten WWE in rating wars and WWE has hit a record low in ratings. WWE has also released over 120 wrestlers since 2020 including big names such as Bray Wyatt, Nia Jax and Braun Strowman.

This has fans asking themselves if history really repeats itself. Is this Monday Night War 20 years later?