Editor’s note: This story was updated on Friday, July 30.
Domino’s Pizza is disavowing any involvement or knowledge of All Elite Wrestling’s (AEW) bloody telecast in which one pro wrestler seemingly wielded a pizza cutter to slice his opponent’s head open.
The fast food giant might also pull its advertising schedule from AEW, which airs Wednesday nights on WarnerMedia’s TNT network.
Domino’s was not involved, nor had any foreknowledge, of the gory scene on the “AEW: Dynamite” main event Wednesday night that showed wrestler Nick Gage apparently slicing Chris Jericho’s head open with a pizza cutter, spokeswoman Jenny Fouracre-Petko told FOS Thursday night.
TNT juxtaposed the blood-stained AEW scene with a picture-in picture commercial for the family-oriented pizza brand showing a Domino’s worker happily slicing up a fresh pie for a delivery.
“We share the concerns expressed about this incident and the content of this TV-14 rated program, and are assessing our advertising presence on it going forward,” said Fouracre-Petko.
On Friday afternoon, sources said WarnerMedia’s ad sales team was trying to mend fences with Domino’s and its agency partners. Arguing the placement was a “unfortunate coincidence,” WarnerMedia hopes the world’s largest pizza company will again buy commercial time on TNT’s next “AEW: Dynamite” telecast Aug. 4.
Gage himself weighed in Friday, tweeting: “Sorry Dominos didn’t mean to offend you. Guess I’m too ultraviolent for TV.”
AEW posted a video of the bloody main event on its Twitter feed Thursday.
Founded in 2019, AEW is trying to challenge wrestling giant WWE for fans and TV viewers. But it’s bloody matches have turned off some fans and critics, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wednesday’s broadcast drew in 1.108 million viewers, the fourth-most in AEW history and the third week in a row that averaged more than a million viewers.
TNT referred questions to a WarnerMedia spokeswoman who could not be reached for comment.
“AEW: Dynamite” is set to switch channels in January, moving to TBS from TNT.
Domino’s operates more than 17,000 locations in 90 markets around the world.