Tony Khan Criticizes John Cena On NXT ‘With All Due Respect’

Tensions have run high this week between AEW and WWE as the two pro wrestling powerhouses went head-to-head in a special Tuesday night scuffle. Hours before both shows hit the air, we reported that Paul “Triple H” Levesque and Shawn Michaels were looking to send Tony Khan a message on his birthday by pulling out all the stops. Ultimately, NXT’s use of big stars like Cody Rhodes, John Cena, and The Undertaker won out, as the yellow and black brand drew more than 300,000 viewers than its alternative.

As the heat has risen throughout the week, so has Khan’s social media presence. Khan’s latest X post features him addressing the perceived drawing power of Cena and The Undertaker.

“This week, 2 active decades-long ratings streaks from 2 great legends were ended,” he began. “With all due respect, until this week’s head-to-head AEW on TBS vs WWE on USA, neither John Cena nor Undertaker had ever been on a WWE show with under 1 million total viewers + under 400k in the demo.”

Haus of Wrestling has begun fact-checking Khan’s assertion, and thus far, he does appear to be correct. Cena did appear in NXT twice in 2013, but at that point, the show was not on television and, therefore, incapable of pulling down TV viewership of any kind. We have also consulted with WrestlenomicsBrandon Thurston, who is also looking into Khan’s claim and were told a preemption to FS1 may have also put Cena and Undertaker in a position to be in front of significantly fewer viewers than normal. That has not been verified; we are still looking into it and will revise this post once we have more information.

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