WWE commented on AEW in a Toronto Star article that focused on the two companies' rivalry, taking aim at a recent street fight and saying they don't feel that type of "dangerous and brutal display is appealing" to networks, sponsors, fans and more.
In the article, the company said they and AEW are in entirely different businesses, citing the street fight between Anna Jay & Tay Conti and Penelope Ford & The Bunny on the episode of Rampage that aired on December 31 as "gory self mutilation."
"If you look at the gory self-mutilation that bloodied several women in the December 31 event on TNT, it quickly becomes clear that these are very different businesses. We had an edgier product in the 'Attitude' era and in a 2022 world, we don't believe that type of dangerous and brutal display is appealing to network partners, sponsors, venues, children or the general public as a whole," WWE told the Toronto Star in a statement.
The match in question saw multiple women bleed, including The Bunny, and had spots involving thumbtacks, barbed wire, and piledrivers through tables. Jay picked up the win for her team after submitting The Bunny with her rear naked choke submission with one of her hands wrapped in barbed wire.
As far back as 2019, WWE chairman Vince McMahon has called out AEW for what he sees as excessive violence.
“We’re hoping that they don’t go on with blood and guts and gory things that they have been doing, which would be bad,” McMahon said in a WWE earnings call back in 2019. “And I can’t imagine, I can’t speak for TNT, but I can’t imagine they’d put up with that."