Rob Bonnette jumps in to discuss the ongoing battle between fans posting arena shots of empty seats, a growing trend for AEW.
I’m going to do something I’m not known for doing much of in these parts: defend AEW. If you read my stuff here or follow me on twitter you know I’m not a fan of the people who run the company and their biggest supporters like Dave Meltzer, so me taking their side may come as a bit of a surprise. But in this case it’s more than warranted because this another unfair dig at them that some people are taking – that of the attendance at their weekly tapings for Dynamite. The past few weeks some photos have turned up on Twitter of tarped off sections in the arenas along with snippy little digs and responses from irritated AEW fans. And let me tell you it’s just as dumb to do this now for them as it always was to do it at WWE shows. Can we look at some real facts about all this please?
1. They’re often misleading
Just as people are and were prone to do at Raw or Smackdown, lots of these pictures are from 30 minutes to an hour before the show even starts. Now y’all know good and well that everybody is not getting to the arena a whole hour ahead of time on a weeknight when lots of them had to come from work before heading to the arena, and where traveling there from home may take up to an hour or more if it’s downtown and they have to drive. So please, save your ‘look at this, LOL!’ tweets that are timestamped at 7:15, ok? We know better.
2. It’s (mostly) not their fault
The night they could get for the show from TNT was Wednesday, which put them behind the eight ball from day one. Any weeknight other than Monday was going to be a tough road to hoe but Tuesday and Wednesday and particular are the worst because they are essentially the landlocked days of the week as far as work and school. Getting people out to the arena on that night was and is always going to be a challenge. If major league baseball and the NBA have attendance problems on those nights what do you think a more niche product like wrestling is going to have?
And this week in particular was going to doubly bad because first of all it’s Thanksgiving weekend for crying out loud. If you’ve got to cook, travel, or prepare to do either one then you’re not spending what could be three or four hours going to a wrestling show. Second (and this one is kinda their fault), they’re in the same town that just hosted four consecutive nights of wrestling from WWE. The idea that after that there were going to be some large multitude of people ready to buy tickets for a fifth night in six days is just lunacy. There may not a lot of overlap between the two fanbases but there’s enough to have an effect here.
And lastly, an opinion….
IT’S JUST DUMB!!!!
You went to the show….why do you care who else is there? Did you really go there to troll them on attendance and not to enjoy the show yourself? Do you feel weird because you thought more people would be there that it turned out to be when you bought your ticket? I’ve been at RAWs and house shows that were sold out and ones that were far from it and let me tell you it doesn’t matter a bit as far as how much I enjoyed it. If we’re gonna keep it 100 attendance, like ratings, aren’t anywhere near a determining factor of the quality of your wrestling product as one might think. Yes on the margins it says a little bit about your overall drawing power but there are so many other factors that go into it that you can’t just go off of it. Being in a full arena for a crappy show doesn’t make it any better and being in a half full one for a great show doesn’t make it bad. And it’s not really funny either because if a company is in dire straits as a result of attendance then that’s not really a laughing matter because a lot of people may soon be losing their jobs.
So let it go already, you’re only making fools of yourselves. It was dumb to it Raw and Smackdown and it’s equally dumb to do it for Dynamite. Just watch the show and have fun for a change, will you?