**This was written before Double or Nothing.
A typical brash, ill-informed comment from the usual internet wrestling smark surely? However you look at it, I’ve been watching wrestling for over 20 years and I’ve learned a thing or two from my time watching it.
World Wrestling Entertainment is the king. The grand puma. The almighty Zeus that sits his immortal, perky buttocks on top of a fluffy cloud in Olympus pelting lightning bolts at all those who dare try to impose on his superiority.
They’ve absorbed ECW and WCW. They’ve nullified the slight threat that was TNA. Now, they’ll be keeping an eye on the new kid on the block.
Right now, All Elite Wrestling is just simply merchandise. Their first show, Double or Nothing takes place on May 25th in Las Vegas. It will be an historic event. All-In was a dry run, the first real flavour of an independent show being operated on a Hollywood level.
Between owner Tony Khan and the endless list of Vice Presidents: Cody Rhodes, The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega; AEW has a well-balanced hierarchy. You have a knowledgeable and successful businessman that has owned sports teams before, so knows about operational costs and the day-to-day running of a company.
Mr Khan is then supported by men who collectively have over 100 years experience in the wrestling industry and have a good idea as to what makes a good wrestling show etc.
Double or Nothing will be a pivotal moment in the company’s standing obviously, but it could be a seminal moment for the future of wrestling. For years people have wanted healthy competition for the WWE, many have tried, generally failed…so what makes AEW so different?
Firstly, AEW will appeal to the typical wrestling fan. It’s going to be narrative-driven and storycentric. Why do I know this? Because they’ve done it before with All-In. For those less-informed, go on YouTube and follow “Being The Elite”. It’s a fantastic YouTube channel chronicling the life of these associated wrestlers, all the while crafting and interweaving story lines into the videos. All-In’s backstories mainly came as a result of the stories they’d created on BTE.
AEW can essentially become an extension of the foundation they’ve already built, just appealing to a slightly broader audience. One of the WWE’s many criticisms is that there’s no continuity and no creativity in WWE’s story lines.
It’s another reason I think AEW can be successful. They can be the voice of the people. Any displeasure ever voiced about the WWE can be capitalised on by AEW and used to their advantage.
Do you know something that wrestling fans like watching by the way? I’ll give you 16 and three-fifths guesses. Still not got it?…..
Some good honest sweaty graps. This is why we get looked down upon as fans isn’t it…
Anyway! AEW will house some of the finest wrestlers on the planet (including one of the very best in Kenny Omega) and it should hopefully unearth some hidden gems along the way too.
At the end of the day these are wrestlers, not sports entertainers. The wrestling will be at the forefront of the content and the emphasis will need no additional reinforcement; it’s just common sense for AEW.
Expect the fans to be listened, expect AEW bookers not to put themselves over constantly as not to abuse their power *wink wink WWE’s Kratos lookalike*, and they’ll be realistic.
If the past has taught us anything, it’s that we should be realistic. When their inevitable TV becomes a reality and they are broadcasting syndicated TV, they’ll know not to compete directly with the WWE straightaway. That’s a big no-no-Jo-Jo.
If Mojo says no-no then adhere to Jojo and go-go and do your own thing. Don’t monkey around thinking about the competition. I needed an excuse to use Mojo Jojo.
There is room to compete if AEW do it right. At one point, TNA managed to draw 2.2 million people in for an episode of Impact. Whereas last weeks episode of Monday Night Raw drew 2.158 million viewers. At one point in time, TNA would actually have toppled RAW for a week. Obviously there’s a lot of extraneous variables to consider, but the fact is, WWE is in a state of decay.
What does the Fox say? It says “here you go WWE, here’s one billion dollars that you don’t need. Do stoof.” Fox’s obscene deal has given WWE an unbelievable war chest on top of King Midas McMahon’s already substantial gold mine. So they literally can offer their talent even more than they normally would. Why go to the indies when you can be paid half a million a year to wrestle on Main Event every week?
Now the good thing is that AEW does indeed have lots of money to compete if it so desires. Tony Khan is a very rich man and has already provided lots of start-up capital by signing many guys and gals up to juicy contracts that come with health insurance I do believe. So the staying power is there and if people want to go around and break a leg or three, then your bills are covered you psycho.
This is one of many benefits that current WWE talent are eyeing up, in addition to everything else that will come with AEW. It’s no secret that people are eyeing up AEW as a potential destination; the ongoing stories of The Revival and Sasha Banks continue and then you think of all the mid to lower-midcard talent that could seek a career renaissance.
Zack Ryder, apart from winning the RAW tag titles recently and THAT IC Title win at Wrestlemania 32, he’s a ghost. Someone like Dolph Ziggler could go and be the star he feels he is. Tye Dillinger, Heath Slater, Tyler Breeze, The Ascension. All perfectly good wrestlers that aren’t having their potential utilised.
‘That’s because they suck’. Is it? If that’s the case, then why have WWE kept them around for so long? It’s because they’re good at what they do without having the attitude to demand of the WWE, meaning WWE can keep them toiling away on B-shows earning a good living.
But now, people have a reason to leave. The grave istake that AEW could make is replicating TNA circa 2010, in which they abandon their laurels, disregard their homegrown talent, and seen an influx of disgruntled ex-WWE superstars.
Chris Jericho is most certainly an exception. He’s a worldwide draw, he can still go and has developed himself into pure star power. Having his name on the marquee for AEW is big. Like, Andre The Giant big.
If Chris Jericho is willing to work for AEW, who’s to say any other noteworthy names won’t follow suit.
Again…AEW must avoid the key mistakes e.g paying a big sum for a part-timer to steal the spotlight on a regular basis *cough* Bork *cough*.
It’ll be interesting to revisit this in a year’s time. Hopefully Double or Nothing is not what it says on the tin, don’t be one and done. Be the first step on the road to success.
**After the events of Double or Nothing, I firmly believe that AEW can change the landscape of wrestling. It’s an exciting time to be a fan.
– Andy.H. –
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