For those of you that missed it, Zayn took questions from fans. They were basic questions and Zayn got increasingly frustrated because he wanted more hard-hitting questions. Zayn then said that fans could have asked him about AEW if they wanted and that is when Graves changed the subject before Seth Rollins’ music played. Click here to see the unedited clip with the AEW reference.
For whatever reason, there are people in WWE under the impression that Zayn mentioned AEW on his own. PWInsider reported that Zayn’s AEW reference was not approved beforehand. However, I spoke to a WWE source that says Zayn was absolutely told to mention All Elite Wrestling during his segment.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday’s Wrestling Observer Radio, Bryan Alvarez says he was told that the AEW reference was not part of the script but Dave Meltzer was told that it was scripted.
Another source told me that the company wants everyone to think that Zayn mentioned AEW on his own and people backstage are being worked.
In the end, AEW is benefiting from this because they got free promotion on Monday Night Raw in front of more than 2 million people watching at home. If Vince McMahon approved the line then this could end up backfiring on him.
For whatever it’s worth, the AEW reference was removed on WWE’s YouTube channel.