On the latest edition of Wrestling with History, Bill Apter and Ken Resnick spoke about Mark Henry joining AEW, WWE’s change in how they view competition, and the corporate changes that were made recently. Here are some highlights:
Bill Apter on Mark Henry joining AEW: “I’ve known Mark since he started…I think this is an amazing move and I think that WWE was probably caught by (surprise)… They are branching out into more shows – Rampage (is coming – they’re going to keep doing things. They’re going to be doing special videos, special segments with these broadcasters; I have a feeling Mark Henry will be a backstage general. He’ll be a coach and a broadcaster. I think having he and the former Big Show Paul Wight together doing broadcasting – that’s going to be another team that people will talk about for years.”
Ken Resnick on not seeing Henry or Big Show making a big difference: “They really even weren’t using (Henry). Vince and WWE has always had a history: When they need you they treat you great, but once they decide you’re not really in their plans they kind of forget your name. Mark Henry (and) Big Show (might be) valuable backstage and interesting as broadcasters, but if they’re not in the ring I don’t know how much they’re going to add to the product.”
Apter on whether the veterans will help AEW’s visibility: “Definitely. It has to (help) only because if someone is channel turning, or somebody knows (Mark Henry) because WWE really played Mark Henry up so big – ‘Oh look, I’m watching this wrestling show and Mark Henry’s here…hey the Big Show is here…Sting is here…Christian Cage is here.’ It’s familiarity… They’re familiar names to people that watch WWE.”
Apter on WWE’s change in how they view competition: “It’s now come to the point where Tony Khan is (calling out) the other Khan… WWE is doing something they never did before: They’re responding… Now with WWE romancing New Japan Pro Wrestling, who is also in the pocket of AEW, look at all this that’s going on. This could be like a World Series of pro wrestling.”
Resnick on WWE corporate changes: “They’re not a wrestling company. They’re an entertainment company. Vince McMahon has said he wants them to become more of a media company… In the past they were all about wrestling, and that’s not their framework (anymore). AEW, their only business is wrestling. WWE, that’s why (the E is for) Entertainment. That’s what they’re focused on. That’s what Vince is looking for. Certainly the hires (and) additions they announced (this week) all point to them continuing to branch out and get more involved in streaming and international… The more you see, I think wrestling is just a component of their entertainment conglomerate.”
Wrestling with History featuring Bill Apter and Ken Resnick drops every Wednesday at noon ET on the VOC Nation Wrestling Network Podcast feed.
Bill Apter and Ken Resnick on WWE’s Big Changes