Toes are being screwed into executives' shoes so tightly in Stamford, CT right now that they're in danger of boring a hole right through dozens of pairs of designer brogues. The news that AEW's All Out became Sold Out in double-quick time is further manure on a complete pile of a week for the company, which began with a record low rating for flagship show WWE Raw outside of holiday season.
The inversely proportional factors of a failing product propped up by ethics-free trips to Saudi Arabia against a vibrant, super-hot independent utopia is creating all sorts of internal misery for McMahon and co. WWE were caught cold when Jon Moxley pulled the wool over their eyes by alighting in AEW at Double or Nothing, and a slew of talent is said to be eager to follow their ex-colleague out of the exit door.
Speaking on Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said that the volume of those under contract at WWE who have contacted AEW is "mind-blowing", adding that Vince did not see this coming.
Not everybody wants out - Meltzer noted Roman Reigns as an obvious exception - but AEW's "insane momentum" has supposedly turned far more heads than WWE are comfortable with.
"WWE didn't expect this [...] to keep growing," said the veteran journalist. "[They] would have thought it was beginner's luck the first time, but now they can't say that."
And it seems that momentum is only set to blossom further. Some talent have already made public overtures towards the upstarts - notably Sasha Banks and The Revival. At this stage, we can only speculate who else is asking around for Tony Khan's number.
Could one of them surreptitiously become the new Lex Luger when AEW launches on TNT this October? Keep your eyes peeled for disgruntled WWE stars shopping for frilly shirts...