Steve Austin Creates Stir With His WWE-AEW Crossover
Pro wrestling fans have longed for a time when the biggest promotions in the world actually worked together instead of ignored the existence of one another. Well, either that or go back to full blown Monday Night Wars like in the Attitude Era.
But for most of the last 20 years, WWE has been alone at the top of the pro wrestling mountain, and has absolutely ignored any other promotion. Even as TNA/Impact rose to a competitive level against them, they would perpetually gut any ounce of their existence from a former athlete they would pick up from another company, or any promotional tie-ins that would cross them.
Now in 2021, the landscape has shifted away from that place.
With a destabilized fanbase compared to the 80s-early 2000s, thanks to the internet, and multiple independent promotions across the world, WWE doesn't have the same control they once did. Not saying that WWE isn't still on top, they obviously are, but it's no loner their lead by a mile.
Most of that has to do with All Elite Wrestling, or AEW. Ever since the upstart organization gained their own national TV deal with TNT, they've been able to close the gap between WWE and the rest of the wrestling world. Now AEW is using partnerships with other wrestling organizations to claw even closer to where WWE is.
Those agreements are with companies like Impact, AAA, and New Japan Pro Wrestling. It's jokingly being referred to as "the forbidden door". But that biggest "door" may have just been kicked in by one of the biggest stars in pro wrestling history.
Stone Cold Steve Austin and his WWE sanctioned podcast have now crossed a line that many wrestling fans are shocked by. Stone Cold will have his old friend, and AEW superstar Chris Jericho on his podcast.
To hear Stone Cold explain how he was able to knock on this "forbidden door" with permission from WWE leader Vince McMahon, it makes you wonder what's actually going on. He told Sports Illustrated how he went about getting it done:
“I was having a beer one night after my Broken Skull Sessions interview with The Undertaker aired, and out of the blue, Chris Jericho reached out and said, ‘Man, that was a great interview.’
I sent him back a couple of those emojis, one of a beer mug and the other of an eagle, and then he called me right then and there. We got to talking. I’ve always respected the hell out of his career, and I’m glad they’re around—it gives the guys and girls in professional wrestling more places to work. I said, ‘I’d love to have you on the show.’ And he said he’d love to do it, so I checked with Vince [McMahon] about it.
I texted Vince and said we had this badass idea about Jericho coming on the show. Vince goes, ‘It’s cool. Go ahead.’ But me and Vince don’t always do well with phones and texts and all that, so I texted one more time, ‘Are you sure it’s O.K. to have Chris Jericho on the show?’ Vince gave me the thumbs up, and Chris came out to do the show.”
So now we have to wait and see what comes from this. Is this the start of further partnerships in the pro wrestling world, or if this is just a fluke. Either way, it will be one hell of a ride for at least one podcast.