There are multiple reports about an attempt by WWE to get AEW in hot water with their sponsors over the pizza cutter spot during the Nick Gage vs. Chris Jericho AEW Dynamite match that aired just before a Domino’s Pizza commercial.
The first report, from Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, states that there was a concerted campaign to contact AEW’s sponsors to alert them about the content of the match. Meltzer wrote, “Domino’s is a major sponsor of TNT and WarnerMedia programming so this is a serious issue. There was a concerted campaign to contact sponsors but at press time Domino’s was the only one that has reacted to the match.”
Several hours later, Voice of Wrestling said that they [WWE] have called journalists to convince them to pick up on the story. VOW tweeted the following in response to what Dave Meltzer reported: “…they have been calling journalists in hopes the story picks up steam. So far, it hasn’t. Nor has any advertiser (including Dominos) pulled any money off the table as far as we know. Sure feels like all of this will amount to nothing.”
In a story on the Babyface v. Heel website, journalist David Bixenspan cited a story posted by Michael McCarthy that claimed that Domino’s Pizza was considering pulling ads after seeing the pizza cutter spot. Bixenspan reported that a screenshot that was shared with him shows that a mainstream reporter said that WWE contacted them about writing an article on the Domino’s Pizza and AEW.
If this is true, this would not be the first time WWE has been accused of trying to cause issues between AEW and their advertisers.
In 2019, Dave Meltzer reported that Vince McMahon referring to AEW as a “blood and guts” company on an investor call was a dirty tactic meant to hurt AEW in the advertising community. Meltzer wrote, “The belief in the advertising community is that Vince was trying to bury them with that they are doing that wrestling that you’re not supposed to advertise on.”
On this week’s investor call, McMahon said that he doesn’t see AEW as competition as he did with WCW.