It Would be Easy for me to Write About Other Things but Instead I’m Going to Talk AEW
Yes, you read that correctly, I’m going to talk about AEW. You may have read some of my work before or maybe this is the first time. Either way, the main reason that I decided to come back and write again for DiscussPW is to provide AEW coverage from an objective point of view.
I understand that it might be kind of weird for some at first. I’ve mainly written about Impact/TNA in the past, and I will again from time to time (see future Rebellion Review). I’m also going to critique upcoming TV shows, movies and other entertainment. So my writing will be about more than just pro wrestling. There’s plenty of Impact coverage out there. Also, DPW will continue to be a place for Impact fans. Don’t mistake me for an AEW mark because that I am not.
From what I’ve generally seen from wrestling media regarding AEW, they usually kiss Tony Khan’s ass relentlessly (no matter what he does). Or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, they tend to be overly critical to the point of redundancy. I am going to aim to be somewhere in the middle. I genuinely like some things in AEW and I also find some aspects of the show to be subpar.
Again, just to clarify, I’m not ignoring Impact Wrestling and I have a long history with being a loyal fan of that company. I have spent a lot of time, money and effort in traveling to Impact/TNA shows in the past. Honestly though, I just haven’t been as excited for the Impact product in recent months. There’s some potential there but I’m not going to be fake and act like I love what they’ve been doing lately. If that makes some of you pissed off at me, then so be it. I wish nothing but success for Impact.
I won’t normally be reviewing specific AEW shows. Instead, I’ll be diving into different weekly topics and sharing my viewpoint as fan of pro wrestling for over 35 years. There’s a lot to cover with All Elite Wrestling. I feel like I have a fairly unique perspective on the decisions being made there and their overall product. Definitely the good, the bad and the ugly exist with this promotion. I have no problem with citing all of that when I talk about AEW.
In most people’s minds, there’s no doubt now that AEW is the “Number 2” wrestling promotion in the United States. It has admirably survived the pandemic better than I ever expected. They have had very impressive and active crowds at most of their shows. Their viewership numbers aren’t on WWE’s level but they have hovered around a million (give or take) for many of their Dynamite episodes in recent months. Rampage is definitely their ”B Show” and the poor viewership for that program is reflective of that.
In the early days of All Elite Wrestling, I wrote a column named, ”Is AEW in Trouble?” At the time, it was a valid question. It was also one that received a decent amount of pushback from AEW fans that were up in arms that I would even pose such a question. Well, now two plus years later, I can confidently say from all indications that AEW is not in trouble. In fact, in a lot of ways they are actually thriving. That being said, they could be so much more than they currently are.
As much as Dave Meltzer wants to give his ”Booker of the Year” award to Tony Khan every year until the end of time, there are some major flaws with consistent storytelling and the flow of the show. It seems like Tony has bitten off more than he can chew lately with this ROH aquisition. That comes in addition to other sports teams responsibilities and his micromanaging of AEW. Does the man sleep? Sometimes I genuinly wonder that because he looks strung out way too often.
Then there’s other things like certain roster members coming and going with no explanation, while others are overused and overexposed. The amount of signings is almost outrageous at times. Thus making the amount of contracted money to wrestlers pretty steep. Is there a bottomless pit of money that Tony has access to with no regard for any budgetary constraints? That doesn’t seem like a long term recipe for success.
I’m going to get into all sorts of things with AEW in the coming months, but I have to give credit where credit is due. Even with all of their faults and some of the questionable decisions, AEW has made me a fan of their company. There are many things that I don’t like including some of their performers taking unnecessary and reckless risks way too often.
Some of their segments I have to fast forward through such as the bad comedy acts and cosplay antics. Then some of their undeniably good stuff is among the best content going in the whole wrestling business. So it’s a mixed bag for sure. I have not purchased an AEW Pay-Per-View, any of their merch nor have I been to an AEW event… yet. So, currently I sit in the casual fan category.
DiscussPW is short for Discuss Pro Wrestling. I’m going to attempt to broaden our readership by reaching out to talk some AEW with their fans. It’s ok to be fans of multiple pro wrestling promotions and some of the tribalism when it comes to the Impact fan base is honestly off-putting.
We need to chill out on the ”you’re either with us or against us” mentality because it makes us more and more isolated in an echo chamber. I am a fan of pro wrestling and this business needs AEW to succeed. It’s really that simple.
Lastly, make sure to check out the return of our annual 420 Episode on our DPW YouTube channel here. The 420 episode obviously drops on April 20th. Other AEW and Impact videos will be available before and after that time.