Another Hall Of Famer Says AEW's Emergence Is 'A Problem' For WWE
By Jason Hall
September 9, 2021
Another WWE Hall of Famer is echoing Mick Foley's claim that the company has "a problem" amid All Elite Wrestling's historic All Out pay-per-view on Sunday (September 5) night and emergence as serious competition.
Booker T -- who was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame both as a singles competitor (2013) and alongside his brother, Stevie Ray, as a member of the legendary tag-team 'Harlem Heat' (2019) -- said he agreed with Foley "100%" after the hardcore wrestling legend shared a video claiming All Out's success posed a major "problem" for WWE.
“I want to talk about those comments because I think there’s a lot of validity to those comments that Mick Foley made. It was critical in a constructive criticism way. I can’t disagree with Mick Foley on anything," Booker T said on his Hall of Fame podcast this week via Wrestling News. "He’s a smart dude, and he’s very, very intelligent as well. He knows his stuff. He’s been there. He’s done it, so coming from Mick Foley, you have to take it and say, ‘Ok, let me look at this.’ One thing also, in wrestling and young people, is how things change so quickly. Just think about it. 20 years ago, UFC started. From that point, kids who were 5, 6, 7 years old, they were watching UFC. They gravitated to it. That’s the only thing they wanted to do. It was something new to them.
"Right now, AEW is in its infancy stages, but you have a lot of young kids, the first time they’re watching professional wrestling, the first wrestling they’re seeing may not be WWE. It may be AEW. If you’re not thinking about that kind of stuff, that kind of generational gap, you might be missing the boat. As far as what Mick Foley said about Karrion Kross, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, how many times have I said that? If it’s working, you don’t touch it. You leave it alone. If you can enhance it, you enhance it and make it better, but you don’t take anything away from it. That’s just my opinion. I agree with Mick Foley 100%. We need to get our a** in gear, bottom line.”
Booker T also praised the 'Lucha Brothers' Penta El Zero M and Rey Fenix, saying they "may be the best tag-team" in professional wrestling after winning the AEW World Tag-Team Championships against 'the Young Bucks' Matt and Nick Jackson during All Out on Sunday.
“The reason why I say The Lucha Brothers may be the best tag-team is because wherever these guys go, if you let them, they’ll get over," he said. "Anywhere these guys go, if you let them do their thing, they will get over with the fans and they can bring a whole lot of money to your company just because people will want to support them and see them. They might be the best tag-team in the world right now.”
On Tuesday (September 7), Foley, a WWE Hall of Famer who is currently signed to a 'Legends contract' with the company, shared his thoughts on the two wrestling promotions after All Out, which featured the debuts of several major former WWE superstars and set a company record for pay-per-view buys.
"I’d like to title this video WWE, We’ve Got a Problem because I think you do and that problem is that WWE is no longer the place for talent to aspire to," Foley said in a video shared on his verified social media account. "Part of it is because AEW is doing a great job of attracting great talent, proven talent, building other talent, creating storylines, but part of it is a problem of your own making.
"I think younger talent sees the way that developmental characters are cut or left by the wayside or in the case of Karrion Kross, greatly watered down and even made a joke of when they debut on the main roster. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. If I was an aspiring talent now, big league talent with a major decision to make, I’m not sure that I would trust WWE creative to do the right thing with my career. You guys did wonders with me back in the day, that was a different time, different place.
"If it was today, I’m not sure I would trust the powers to be with my career in their hands. And until that changes, WWE, you’ve got a problem."
Former WWE Champion Bryan Danielson (formerly known as Daniel Bryan), former NXT Champion Adam Cole and former WWE superstar Ruby Soho (formerly known as Ruby Riott) all made their AEW debuts at All Out on Sunday, which also featured the in-ring return of former WWE Champion CM Punk, who had recently made his first appearance for the company after a seven-year absence from professional wrestling.
Soho was among the numerous releases made by WWE since April, despite being involved in an ongoing SmackDown storyline and regarded as one of the top female competitors in the company.
The former 'Riott Squad' leader debuted as the surprise 'Joker' entrant in the women's Casino Battle Royale match, which she won to earn an opportunity to challenge AEW Women's Champion Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. for an upcoming title match.
Both Danielson and Cole reportedly received major offers from both companies before deciding to join AEW, which launched just two years ago and has quickly emerged as WWE's most serious competition since World Championship Wrestling, which was purchased by WWE chairman Vince McMahon in 2001.
Cole interrupted a post-match promo by AEW World Champion Kenny Omega and 'The Elite,' seemingly to get revenge on the group from being 'killed off' their YouTube series Being the Elite -- prior to joining NXT in 2017 -- but instead rejoined the group.
Danielson came out minutes later and helped Omega's opponent, Christian Cage, and allies Jungleboy and Luchasaurus, even the odds against the Elite before clearing the ring.
Cole is a one-time NXT Champion, the inaugural NXT North American Champion and a one-time NXT Tag Team Champion alongside former Undisputed Era members Roderick Strong, Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly.
The 32-year-old has spent the majority of his tenure with WWE competing for the NXT brand since signing in 2017.
Danielson, a multi-time former World Champion, last appeared on WWE television during a losing effort to Universal Champion Roman Reigns in the main event of Friday Night SmackDown in April and his contract reportedly expired after the appearance.