After Chris Jericho defeated Nick Gage in a ‘No Rules match’ last month on AEW Dynamite, it was reported that Domino’s was one of the company’s sponsors who were unhappy at the violence during the match. In the time since, it has been alleged that WWE pushed for reporters and mainstream media outlets to cover Domino’s unhappiness.
A report in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter had two quotes on the matter, implying that WWE was attempting to use Domino’s issues with the match to their advantage. The first stated,
“There was one question on AEW, which was notable with the gap closing on the numbers. Vince McMahon blew them off as competition at the same moment behind-the-scenes they were trying to take advantage of the bloodbath the night before [Gage vs Jericho].”
The second quote doubled down on these claims, saying,
“There was a concerted campaign to contact sponsors but at press time Domino’s was the only one that has reacted to the match.”
Voices of Wrestling would also comment on these two quotes, saying,
“I don’t know about that, but they [WWE] 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.”
I don’t know about that, but 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. https://t.co/PY5XaNgMc5
— Voices of Wrestling (@voiceswrestling) July 31, 2021
Babyface v Heel also stated that they had received a screenshot from a reporter from a ‘mainstream’ publication confirming that WWE had suggested they write a story on the controversy. The reporter in question didn’t want to be identified because they had never covered pro wrestling before and didn’t want to ruin their reputation for the outlet they currently work for.
As of this writing, there have been no further updates on if Domino’s have pulled their advertisements from AEW TV but it doesn’t appear they have. There has also been no further indication that WWE played any part in attempting to stir up media controversy following the match.
If it sounds as petty as you’d likely think, you could not be more right. Keep in mind that this is a company whose chairman (Vince McMahon) recently said they don’t consider AEW competition, yet they reached out to multiple mainstream media outlets after the Cage/Jericho match to try to get them to write stories with the hope that one (if not more) of AEW’s main sponsors would jump ship or pull their advertisements to hurt AEW.
(h/t – eWn’s Ryan Clark for contributing to this article)