Pro wrestling fans have long complained about WWE and other productions becoming less gritty and more family-friendly. Long gone are the days of Mankind and Undertaker going back and forth until fans were sure one was seriously injured. The “Attitude Era” is the gold standard for many fans. Fans of the old days got a treat from the producers over at AEW.
All Elite Wrestling, for those not in the know, is the modern competitor to WWE. The show prides itself on being the underdog between the two productions. AEW is home to Chris Jericho now, and he’s their top guy on the roster. During Wednesday night’s broadcast fans got a bit more than a good bump and sell.
While Jericho battled with rival Nick Gage, the latter pulled out a pizza cutter and went to town on Jericho’s face. Rarely does blood appear in major pro wrestling productions anymore, and this was quite the show. Jericho, a consummate professional knows how to sell the pain.
So, why is Domino’s Pizza threatening to pull advertising from the show? Well, right after showing Gage slice up Jericho’s face, a Domino’s commercial appeared on the screen. The production played the Domino’s ad right next to the live feed of Jericho bleeding after the assault. One has to understand where the pizza chain is coming from, but it was undoubtedly hilarious.
Domino’s Pizza isn’t Amused
While fans thought that the product placement was hilarious, Domino’s was not as amused. Jenny Fouracre-Petko spoke with Front Office Sports about the incident saying, “We share the concerns expressed about this incident…and are assessing our advertising presence on it going forward,” meaning their commercials may not play on the show any longer.
This all seems like a ridiculous overreaction on the part of Domino’s pizza. While the show is rated TV-14, the key demographic for AEW is 18-35-year-olds. Wrestling is an inherently violent display and a little blood used to be fairly common. This will likely blow over as long as the network decides to keep the pizza cutter scenes away from the pizza commercials.
One look at Twitter would show the folks at Domino’s that the incident could have been capitalized on by the pizza chain. Instead, they have decided to call out the moment as a controversy of sorts. Imagine if they leaned into this? Their social media team could have surely made something good out of the spot.
The show was a success ratings-wise and gave that Domino’s spot more eyes than just about any other AEW show has before.
As we can all see, Jericho and his face are fine and not horribly cut up by a common kitchen utensil.
The show was good. There was a bit of cartoonish violence with the pizza cutter and the many fluorescent lights smashed against both men. Perhaps in the future, Nick Gage can use a power tool on Jericho and they can cut to a Home Depot spot. Think of all the puns and comedic timing the AEW producers can get away with!