The long rumored, long talked about All Elite Wrestling is finally official. While there isn’t many specifics yet, there is plenty of speculation what various roles people will hold in the company. Since the original rumors of the initial trademark filings for AEW this past fall, I have thought what are five of the things it would take for the company to succeed? While many of the reason will probably be more than obvious, I thought this would be as good of time as any to examine just exactly what AEW will need to do to succeed.
I think this will be one of the most important factors for the company to be successful. I had, as I am sure many others did as well, that IMPACT would have been picked up by a larger network such as a WGN or one of the Turner stations. There are multiple rumors that as many as five networks have multi-year television offers on the table The key will be getting on to a viable network. AXS TV is likely an options as they already air NJPW content and will be launching the WOW shows in just a few weeks. The Turner networks (TBS and TNT) could be likely options, as could WGN. Remember that WGN America aired the All In: Zero Hour prior to the ALL IN pay-per-view. Having a product that is easily accessible to viewers will go a long way in the company being successful.
The talent that will be a part of AEW will be just as crucial as the company having a television outlet. We know that on some level, The Young Bucks, Cody Rhodes and Chris Jericho will have some sort of role in the promotion. There is also talk of Kenny Omega, Hangman Page, and Christopher Daniels and what roles they will play. The independent and international wrestling scenes have a wealth of talent. Does the company take the approach of brining in will recognized indie stars and building homegrown talent, or do they attempt to bring in established stars from IMPACT, WWE, or someone of a caliber of CM Punk perhaps? There will be rumors throughout 2019 on what wrestlers from what companies may be jumping ship. While I don’t expect this to be like the talent raids of the 80’s and late 90’s, I expect there to be a few interesting moves. There are many wrestlers in the WWE who could benefit from a change of scenery, including Dolph Ziggler, Finn Balor, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, etc etc.
Working Agreements With Other Promotions
It has been rumored that AEW will unlikely have a working relationship with ROH due to the competition both companies will have for securing talent. However, a working relationship with ROH, if possible, NJPW, IMPACT, etc can only be a benefit. It can be much like the territorial days where one wrestler would be finishing up a six month run with a company, and would move on to a new territory. For a company like NJPW, it would only provide the company more exposure to the US fans.
Have A Vision (Don’t Be Like WWE)
The one thing that can make AEW fails is if it tries to be WWE. I wouldn’t even worry about becoming competition to the WWE. Be the alternative. The ALL-IN show already proved that people are looking for an alternative to WWE. They cannot be like TNA was when they moved to Monday nights to compete head to head with WWE.
My assumption is that Cody Rhodes learned a few things about storyline creation from his father. Dusty Rhodes is often considered to be one of the greatest minds in the business. In some shoot interviews, Dusty stated that at any given time he had 1000’s of legal pads filled with storyline and creative ideas. One of the biggest knocks on WWE is the incoherent storylines that lead to nowhere or make absolutely zero sense. While AEW will most likely focus more on wrestling, I would fathom the promotion will have week to week storylines as well.
It is an exciting time to be a wrestling fan. I’ve lived through the 80’s and 90’s boom periods, and I would say this is the closest we have been to a boom period happening again. I am a WWE mark through and through, but to be honest, their product has been unwatchable at times lately, and has felt stale. The plus side for the WWE is that competition has always brought out the best in the company. My hope is AEW becomes a great alternative and causes WWE to dig their head out of the sand.