Is All Elite Wrestling Doomed To Fail?

If you aren’t watching wrestling right now, then you should because it might be the best time ever to be a wrestling fan. There’s so much great wrestling that you can watch and there’s something for every type of wrestling you can enjoy. Whether you’re into storyline-based wrestling, wrestling that focuses more on the matches, comedy style of wrestling and many others as well.

While there is a ton of wrestling to watch, there will always be a top dog when it comes to wrestling and that of course is WWE. They’ve been the biggest wrestling company for a very long time now and are seen as the measuring stick for other wrestling promotions. It’s incredibly hard to compete with them because of their long-lasting history and how ingrained they are with wrestling. If you ask someone who knows nothing about wrestling to name a wrestling company then they are more than likely going to say WWE. They’ve become the name that comes to anyone’s mind when you think about wrestling because they have been the giant of the industry for so long. Although companies like WCW and TNA have tried to compete with them in the past, it hasn’t really worked out and WWE still remains the big dog.

However, there is a company that has been running for a few years now that has changed the game of wrestling for the modern era. That company being All Elite Wrestling or AEW for short. If you don’t know what AEW is, it’s a wrestling company owned by the Khan family who also own the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL. The company started in 2019 is was seen to be a competitor and alternative to WWE. What made AEW so different is they would do things WWE wouldn’t do. WWE nowadays is a lot more PG and panders more to a younger audience and advertisers to sell their product better. While this is a good idea to sell their product, it does kind of water down the product a bit because they are restricted from doing certain things.

That’s where AEW introduced themselves as an alternative. AEW started in 2019 and its product is for a more mature audience as they will swear, have blood, be more violent and overall have more of a feel of what wrestling was like in the 90s to early 2000s which many claim as the best time period for wrestling. AEW was there to try and recapture that feeling and bring an alternative to the wrestling world that was dominated by WWE.

At the beginning of the promotion, AEW was hot! They were putting on interesting storylines, had some great matches and were just offering something fresh and unique to what WWE was offering. Their attendance was doing well and there was a buzz about AEW being a legit competitor to WWE. Fast forward a few years and they’re signing big-name wrestlers, building up their roster and really starting to capture the wrestling community. Everything was going well for AEW and having a competitor to WWE was great for the wrestling industry as a whole.

There isn’t enough room for everyone in WWE so having a second big promotion was huge for the wrestling community and also helped in challenging WWE to push the envelope and create the best product possible. WWE is great now and I don’t think it would be as great if AEW wasn’t around. Evidence of that is the late 2010s when WWE was unwatchable. So AEW was huge for wrestling.

But then, things started to change. Over the past year or so, AEW has been seeing a bit of a fall-off. They were doing great when they started and even survived the pandemic era quite well, but now things are getting a bit rough. They aren’t selling out shows and are sometimes getting less than half the capacity of crowds, their viewership numbers aren’t great and have been dipping, and the company has sort of lost its touch. What once seemed like a true competitor to WWE is now desperately trying to catch up to them as WWE is doing great for attendance and viewership as they are getting some of the best numbers they’ve ever seen.

So what happened to AEW? How did all this happen? Well, I think there’s one situation that changed everything for the company. AEW was doing great and had little to no issues until something called “Brawl Out” happened.

To summarize what this is, AEW had signed a huge wrestler named CM Punk in 2021 who had been gone from wrestling for seven years and he was and still is a huge fan favourite.

In late 2022, CM Punk got into a bit of a spat with the executive vice presidents (EVPs) of AEW who are wrestlers named Kenny Omega and Matt and Nick Jackson who are also known by their in-ring tag team name, The Young Bucks. There’s a lot of details so I’ll try and spare them but basically, the EVPs got into an argument with Punk and had a brawl in the locker room.

President of AEW, Tony Khan, suspended both sides and this started the downfall of AEW. This situation was one that could’ve been avoided and better handled. Later on CM Punk got into another fight which got him fired by the company.

This situation really opened people’s eyes to how AEW was run and people started to sour on Tony Khan. There were more and more noticeable issues with AEW’s product and people were starting to tune away. And it seems all of this started with Brawl Out. The company now seems unprofessional and poorly booked at times (booked is a term referring to how the product is written)

So now AEW is on a decline and not looking too great. So how does AEW fix this? Well, I have some suggestions.

1. Tony Khan has to give up booking the shows. It may be tough for him to do but it’s for the better. The reason I say that is it’s very evident that Tony Khan doesn’t know how to manage his talent. Wrestlers are often people who have very big egos which you often have to have in this industry to make it. Tony Khan may be decent at writing stories, but he doesn’t have much experience managing people, especially wrestlers. One of the reasons why WWE has done well recently is that it’s run by Triple H, a former wrestler. I think if AEW let a former wrestler run the shows then it would be better managed because they understand wrestlers better because they were one. Bryan Danielson would be a great choice for this as he has already been doing some booking for AEW and could maybe do it full-time once he retires if he so chooses.

2. They need to market their stars better. AEW has some great wrestlers and some big names they’ve brought on recently. Kazuchika Okada, Mercedes Mone and Will Ospreay have all been massive additions, but they need to market them better. They need to showcase that their stars are big deals like WWE does with the likes of Roman Reigns or the Rock. They need to constantly promote these stars and make them feel like a big deal and people will start to treat them like a big deal. They have the talent to do it, they just need to market them better so that a wide audience will instantly know them.

3. Stop worrying about WWE. Sometimes it feels like AEW tries too hard to be what WWE is not and I don’t really like that approach. AEW should be what they want to be regardless of what anyone else is doing. You want to be unique and interesting and have your own thing. AEW is the alternative to WWE but that shouldn’t be your brand. You should be doing things because you think they are good and not because WWE isn’t doing it. Sometimes things they do will be similar to WWE and sometimes they won’t, but they really shouldn’t worry about that and just worry about making a good product for their company. The comparisons can be so tiring sometimes so AEW needs to stop feeding into it. Be your own brand and don’t worry about what other companies are doing.

I’m a big fan of AEW and I honestly prefer their style over other types of wrestling like what WWE does for example (although I still do like WWE). However, I do feel like they need to change a few things for me to enjoy it more and for a wider audience. AEW has the potential to be great and I want to see it be great but they just aren’t right now. But hopefully, they can change things soon because it’s not looking great for them right now.

Either way, I hope you enjoy wrestling because it is some much damn fun right now! Here’s to hoping it will only get better.

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