Earlier this year, NXT and AEW Dynamite went head-to-head and, with the former stacked with main roster WWE talent, it effortlessly beat the weekly AEW show in terms of ratings.
AEW President Tony Khan didn't react well to the news, going on a social media tirade which saw him fling insults at Triple H, Shawn Michaels, John Cena, and even The Undertaker. Even his most ardent supporters were left shaking their heads, with some insiders claiming talent had been demanding someone take Tony's phone for him.
To put it bluntly, he turned himself into a laughing stock.
On Friday night, there was another clash when SmackDown squared off with AEW Collision (which had been moved to Friday night to make room for yesterday evening's AEW Full Gear PPV).
Well, the results were, as expected, in WWE's favour. With one of its worst viewership numbers of all time, Colission drew a measly 251,000 viewers, with only 95,000 of them in the key 18-49 demographic. SmackDown, on the other hand, emerged triumphant with a whopping 2.2 million viewers and an estimated 792,000 in that demo. It was also the #1 show across broadcast TV.
While it wasn't a fair fight in a lot of ways (AEW Collision aired on a much smaller cable channel than FOX), this further cements WWE's dominance in a war which is already over. When Vince McMahon was calling the shots, AEW began nipping at the heels of a product which had grown stale and simply wasn't as fun or cool as what the younger company was delivering.
However, as Khan has struggled to keep the momentum going, he's found himself at a loss to compete with Triple H's vision for WWE and hasn't reacted well. It's no wonder in some ways as there was a very brief time when AEW was closing in on both RAW and SmackDown, prompting a hyperactive Tony to go on a foul-mouthed tirade at a post-show press conference.
He's yet to weigh in on this latest loss and spent most of yesterday hyping up Full Gear. As usual, that came in the form of some bizarre Tweets/Xs which saw him repeatedly crow about "justified" chants for the matches taking place on the show.
What did you decide to tune into on Friday night? As always, let us know in the comments section below.