The Rise and Fall of Past Promotions
We have seen a ton of companies rise up hoping to eat into the WWE Universe over the years. Ring of Honor, TNA and now Impact Wrestling, New Japan, AAW, MLW, Lucha Underground, CZW, House of Hardcore, Championship Wrestling from Hollywood, AAA, CMLL, and a host of others who have either made their move or who are getting ready to (Aero Lucha).
This is not a new phenomena. WCW, the AWA, UWF, NWA, and WCCW all tried the same thing in the past with some (WCW) getting close to stopping the juggernaut that is WWE from becoming the Monopoly of the Wrestling World. Despite their best efforts, none of these promotions have been able to do enough damage to bring down Titan Towers. Realistically, there will never be a promotion that can.
All Elite Wrestling, LLC
With the past track record for failed attempts to become relevant in the world of wrestling, why would another promotion think they could do any better? How can a new entity rise from out of nowhere and grasp a golden ring? The answer in short is All Elite Wrestling. The promotion that looks to make a public announcement in January appears to be poised to make a serious run at becoming a legitimate alternative to WWE programming.
With trademarks being filed recently for terms such as 'AEW Double or Nothing', 'Double or Nothing', 'AEW All Out', 'All Out', and 'Tuesday Night Dynamite', it would appear as though the rumors surrounding this new startup promotion are legitimate. The address where these filings are linked house the operations of the Jacksonville Jaguars and their owner Shad Khan. All Elite Wrestling, LLC, lists their address as 1 TIAA Bank Field Drive in Jacksonville Florida which is the stadium where the Jaguars play their home games.
Current international megastars the Young Bucks, Cody Rhodes, Kenny Omega, Hangman Page, Marty Skurll, and many other independent stars have made a huge impact on the wrestling landscape for an extended period of time. If you add to that the status of former WWE superstar and IWGP Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho, AEW does have some serious star power that they could consider recruiting for their initial launch.
Would the Elite join All Elite Wrestling? It is possible. The name AEW All Out and AEW Double or Nothing have been rumored to be the tentative names for the second installment of the All In show put on by Cody and the Young Bucks this past September that was a resounding success.
All In was able to redefine a segment of the wrestling audience. They presented a show that was rich with talent. There were performers from a variety of promotions. Most importantly, with no weekly show promoting them, there was a lot of intrigue and shock value attached to the presentation.
What are the possibilities?
All Elite Wrestling has several possibilities for what the product could incorporate. Rumors have swirled that Billy Corgan and the NWA with its rich championship lineage could become the top prize for the emerging company. Still others feel that All Elite Wrestling would want to brand a world championship with their own namesake attached. Still other rumors suggest AEW could break the mold for wrestling promotions with ongoing relationships with a variety of other companies to allow cross branded shows much like All In on a weekly basis.
One Legitimate Question
Many have asked a very poignant question. Are there enough “Big Name” independent stars to build a brand in 2018? This is not as easy of an answer as it may have been 2 years ago. Back then, Lucha Underground was still young and their contracts were more forgiving. Ring of Honor wasn’t as concerned with exclusive deals as they are today. WWE was allowing WWE UK talents to work for other promotions. Impact Wrestling had deals with GFW, New Japan, and Pro Wrestling NOAH at different times.
Today, exclusivity seems to be making a comeback. The thought of a truly cross branded weekly show makes a die hard fan salivate just thinking of the match possibilities but is that truly a creative option? Different promotions would not want to see their talent put over someone else’s stars as it would hurt their brand legitimacy. Likewise, talent in 2018 like the freedom to book schedules to their liking. Even in situations where Evolve, who have a working agreement with WWE, booked Impact Talents LAX, the deal fell through because Impact didn’t want WWE talents (the Street Profits) going over one of their top teams.
An exciting time to be a fan!
Whatever the outcome is, All Elite Wrestling has the potential to make an immediate impact if presented properly and if they can secure enough talent that will appeal to the mainstream audience. Perhaps they can pluck disgruntled New Japan talent. There is a chance Ring of Honor stars seek better wages funded by a Billionaire Jaguars Owner who wants to get into the Rasslin Business. Perhaps, coming off the heels of the wildly successful All In show, Cody and the Young Bucks are determined to bring their style of entertainment to a broader audience. Then again, perhaps the drawing power of WWE and their insane budget will be too much for Cody and company to turn down and the entire project may fall through. Only time will tell if the Elite are All In with All Elite Wrestling.
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