When All Elite Wrestling (AEW) came into being, it brought with itself a lot of promise and potential. It promised to revolutionize wrestling.Started by ex-WWE superstar CODY RHODES & N.J.P.W superstars THE YOUNG BUCKS, this brand promised to bring the much needed freshness in the pro-wrestling landscape.
Thus today, we shall look into why AEW has become such a success instead of succumbing under a mammoth W.W.E. During this discussion, we will also look into the reasons why it’s successful.
AEW IS “NOT” P.G-13
Hands down the most successful era in W.W.E was The Attittude Era. A major reason for its success was the brash, unforgiving gore and content that was at least not kid friendly. However, since WWE shifted to a PG-13 rating, its viewership declined tremendously. Thus, this is where AEW takes the cake.
All Elite Wrestling makes sure the fans get what they deserve: 2 guys/girls beating the hell out of each other for the ultimate prize. The blood, weapons, cursing and what not takes us back to the Attitude Era. Contrary to popular belief, this is not a bad direction to go towards, even for T.V. This is evident from the fact that many WWE superstars like Dean Ambrose jumped ship to AEW as their gimmicks were more suitable for the latter. WWE’s PG rating limited their abilities.
Though still not jumping ship, Shinsuke Nakamura used to be the King of Strong Style in N.J.P.W. This means that his moves were hard hitting and almost life-like. It treats pro-wrestling as a proper combat sport. However, WWE severely restricted his abilities.
SUPERSTARS HAVE CREATIVE FREEDOM
Kayfabe is no more a thing today. This means that as an audience, we all know it’s all scripted and everything done with safety and precaution. Thus, the only aspect that can ensure that a show looks “real” are the promos. When a superstar comes on the mic, we expect an authentic segment that can invest us more in the story line.
WWE however, even scripts these. Their creative teams hand the lines to the superstars who have to recite it out. Over here, bad acting or lines incoherent with the gimmick can be extremely visible. AEW on the other hand, doesn’t take this route.
Superstars have the freedom to speak on the spot. This means that whatever promos we see on TV are coming right from the heart, of people who understand their character. Thus, they can even improvise according to audience reactions as well. Also, the creative team that devises story lines, is the wrestlers themselves. So, people who know their gimmicks and fighting styles are the ones who are in control of what happens and how it happens.
This makes the stories more interesting and bring a sense of authenticity and naturalism to it. Nothing feels forced. A very good example will be the Cody-Dustin Rhodes story line, that ended up being one of the most emotional story lines.
AEW IS MORE ENSEMBLE
The major problem with WWE is its lack of association with any pro-wrestling company. This kills any chances of crossovers and dream matches, UNLESS someone jumps ship and signs with WWE. Even after that, this company tries to act as if only its own accolades matter.
AEW on the other hand is a rookie company which has opened its doors for rivals to crossover with them. The most recent example will be AEW World Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega appearing on Impact Wrestling with his title. This just opened the doors for more inter-company promotions and events.
It’s association with other companies has also led to an awesome roster. Ex-WWE guys like Jon Moxley, Chris Jericho, Jack Hager, late Brodie Lee, Miro, Cody and Dustin Rhodes etc as well as NJPW guys like Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks & Kenta, amidst homegrown talent like MJF, Jungle Boy, Orange Cassidy, Darby Allen etc makes the roster rich. In AEW, we can very well see dream matches which we knew were not possible. An example is Jon Moxley vs Kenny Omega.
All in all, AEW seems to be the more edgier brand as compared to WWE. It does have its own shortcomings; they’re filled with “spot-fests” but, the product is overall superior. It gives limited 1-2 hour shows as a result there’s no over saturation of content. WWE on the other hand has 3 hour shows and overloads us with pay-per-views, which becomes tiring and difficult to keep track of.
WWE also recently is burying its present talent for part-timers, while AEW is using legends judiciously. The mentor roles played by Arn Anderson & Jake Roberts is what these legends should do, instead of competing. Sting’s arrival just skyrocketed AEW’s hype to the roof and thus, it’ll be interesting to see what they do of him.
All in all, AEW has a bright future ahead. It gets rid of all the bad things of WCW, while retain the good of the Attittude Era. Thus, it’s a fresher alternative to WWE.