- More major wrestling companies benefit performers, fans, and the industry as a whole, providing alternatives and more content.
- Triple H offers more variety in WWE programming, catering to a mainstream audience and giving fans plenty to choose from.
- Tony Khan utilizes other companies’ rosters and gives more TV time to talent, while WWE’s women’s division is better booked under Triple H.
WWE V. AEW: The debate continues to rage on and probably will for countless years to come.
Many wrestling fans, especially vocal members of the Internet Wrestling Community (IWC) feel they must pick a side rather than support each company in its own way. One thing’s for sure; the more major wrestling companies there are, the better it is for everyone. It’s better for the performers, as they have alternatives if their run with a company doesn’t work out. It’s better for the fans, as they can choose with their dollar as to who presents the better product. Finally, it’s better for the industry as a whole, as the entertainment landscape gets filled with more wrestling content.
As tribalist and silly as the idea of picking a company may be, it seems like a good time to stoke the fire by comparing and contrasting each side’s behind-the-scenes figurehead to determine who comes out on top.
10 Triple H: More variety
Many may say this strength is more due to the WWE system than Triple H’s method, but even looking back to his time running NXT, HHH has always seemed to favor giving fans a plethora of things to choose from.
When a viewer tunes into WWE’s weekly programming, they’ll see wrestling (whether it be technical, spot-heavy or anything in between), extended promos, a litany of backstage segments and much more. Sure, AEW offers more than just a great in-ring product, but it’s certainly the Jacksonville-based promotion’s calling card. This strength caters more to the mainstream, which is the audience WWE is clearly going for.
9 Tony Khan: Doesn’t run constant rematches
This has perhaps been the WWE system’s biggest flaw for a decade-plus. Triple H could’ve changed things when he took the reins over a year ago, and to some extent he has, but still, fans are treated to the same matches over and over again.
Almost every week, AEW offers a matchup unique to its programming and one that many fans have been clamoring to see. Much of this comes down to the extensive roster AEW can choose from, but WWE has that same luxury yet fails to fully utilize it.
More on roster utilization later.
8 Triple H: Better booked women’s division
Now, neither WWE nor AEW takes full advantage of the incredible talent they have in their respective women’s divisions. However, WWE beats out AEW pretty easily in this category.
Sure, WWE has a better, deeper roster than AEW, but that’s no excuse. Triple H’s biggest strength in this department comes down to the feuds he books the women’s division in. WWE always has multiple women’s feuds running at the same time, and many of them are non-title programs. It’s hard to remember the last time the same could be said for their competitors.
7 Tony Khan: Utilizes other companies’ rosters/free agents
Not only does Tony Khan have one of the deepest rosters of world-class wrestlers in the world, he has access to the talent of promotions such as NJPW and Impact. WWE could likely improve its relationship with those companies to do the same, but the interest doesn’t seem to be there.
Again, this could be seen more as a strength of AEW’s rather than Khan’s, but the fact is, Khan is the one who decides which talent will be used on weekly programming. He’s the one who brought shows like Forbidden Door to fruition. If Triple H did the same, who knows which company would handle the situation better?
6 Triple H: Title matches feel more important
It seems every week on every episode of AEW’s weekly shows, there is a title match of some kind. To some extent, this is a strength, and we’ll get to that later, but for the most part, this can actually devalue a title’s importance. Roman Reigns is the biggest star in professional wrestling for a reason. He doesn’t appear on TV every week, and he doesn’t even defend his Undisputed WWE Universal Championship every time he wrestles on PPV.
Moreover, each time Gunther defends the Intercontinental Championship or Asuka defends the WWE Women’s Championship, it feels like a spectacle. No matter how good Orange Cassidy’s reign as AEW International Champion has been, many of his title defenses have had zero tension due to how many times he has put the title on the line.
5 Tony Khan: Allots TV time to more talent
Most weeks, fans know who they’re going to see on an episode of ‘Monday Night Raw’ or ‘Friday Night SmackDown’. Because of how deep AEW’s roster is, viewers are often surprised by who comes out of the tunnel on ‘Dynamite’, ‘Rampage’ or ‘Collision’.
WWE could take the same approach, as its roster is filled from the main event to the low midcard with great talent just itching to prove themselves. Wrestlers like Johnny Gargano and Nikki Cross can often be lost in the shuffle when many fans know what they’re capable of.
Tony Khan does an excellent job at giving almost every one of his wrestlers the screen time they deserve, and if he doesn’t, he’ll change that.
4 Triple H: Better booked tag team division
This could end up being the most controversial entry on the list, as WWE has long been criticized for its poor treatment of tag team wrestling. Well, Triple H changed that.
Three WWE PPVs, including WrestleMania, have been main-evented by a tag team match in 2023. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, the Usos, Imperium, Alpha Academy, the Street Profits and many more teams have gotten the chance to shine every week on TV or on a PLE.
Meanwhile, AEW has ignored its established tag teams in favor of a Blind Eliminator Tournament just to advance the admittedly great storyline between Adam Cole and MJF.
3 Tony Khan: Weekly TV feels more important
As mentioned earlier, AEW’s constant title matches can be a strength. The biggest reason for this is that almost every episode of ‘Dynamite’ or ‘Collision’ feels must-watch. Even if it’s not a title match, Tony Khan often gives away huge matchups on free TV because of AEW’s limited PPV schedule. Just look at the yearly tradition of Blood and Guts main-eventing ‘Dynamite’.
CM Punk debuted and returned on episodes of weekly TV, MJF has defended his AEW Championship multiple times on free TV and AEW runs a plethora of yearly TV specials to boost viewership and drive home the importance of each and every week.
2 Triple H: Better long-term storytelling
Tony Khan has done an excellent job with long-term feuds such as Kenny Omega V. Adam Page and CM Punk V. MJF, but perhaps his biggest flaw is letting feuds run for too long with no payoff and no variety to drive the storyline.
How long have the Outcasts been feuding with Britt Baker and company with no payoff? What about Keith Lee V. Swerve Strickland?
All that needs to be done when making the case for Triple H to be superior in this category is to point toward the epic Bloodline saga that has taken fans on a roller-coaster ride since 2020. However, things really kicked into gear once Triple H took the helm.
1 Tony Khan: Gives the people what they want
Much has been said recently about Triple H’s hesitance to strike while the iron is hot on stars such as LA Knight. The same cannot be said of the Game’s biggest competitor.
Tony Khan listened when the fans wanted the Acclaimed to rise to the top. He listened when the fans wanted Hangman Page to achieve his destiny. Sure, Sami Zayn main-evented WrestleMania, but most fans really wanted him to dethrone the Tribal Chief. Wrestling is about long-term storytelling, and it’s often most effective when a booker sticks to the original plan. However, in some rare cases, it’s okay to give the fans what they want.