Ever since All Elite Wrestling launched as a program, groups of fans on social media have loudly proclaimed whether they prefer to watch either AEW or WWE, and angrily chastise anyone that chooses to watch the other company. Cody Rhodes, one of AEW's biggest stars and an executive vice president, has noticed how the AEW vs. NXT rivalry has turned somewhat toxic and recently spoke out against it during a recent interview on Busted Open Radio. This past week marked the first time NXT outright beat AEW Dynamite in both viewership and the 18-49 ratings demographic.
"I think about this a lot because it's so toxic, and when I say toxic, I mean social media. Social media is becoming an accepted part of our lives now," Rhodes said (h/t Wrestling Inc. for transcript). "I keep reminding people about how life was like before we had Instagram and Twitter and what we used to do, it's almost like saying remember when we didn't have cell phones? Social media is not going away so what I've tried to learn from it and study from it is that there is a logic to both sides of this big, deep divided argument."
"I think it's fun but we can't eat our own," he later added. "You have to look at the number of wrestling fans that are watching wrestling every week and Wednesday night. We wanted Wednesday night to be must-see TV. If you take the ratings from both products and you truly understand that there is less cross-over than you think, that is a lot of eyes watching wrestling on Wednesday nights. It's not going to stop because what happens is competitive, we are counter-programmed against each other. We are trying to beat each other's products. We are trying to have a better product, just like the wrestlers in the locker room trying to have a better wrestling match than the guy before him but that doesn't have to be mean-spirited."
That same toxicity drove both Matt and Nick Jackson of The Young Bucks off of Twitter.
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There won't be a new episode of AEW Dynamite this week. The show will return on Jan. 1 with the AEW Dynamite: Homecoming special in Jacksonville, and will feature AEW Women's World Champion Riho vs. Kris Statlander and Rhodes vs. Darby Allin.