Tonight on TNT at 8pm is the premiere of AEWs two hour weekly wrestling show called Dynamite which for the first time goes up against WWEs NXT show on the USA Network.
Ever since WCW went out of business and was purchased by WWE there hasn’t been anyone any real competition; Yes TNA/Impact briefly tried going up against WWE but they never really were a threat to the WWE’s dominance.
Today in some ways wrestling fans have more choices that ever apart from the WWE other major competitors include Ring Of Honor, New Japan Wrestling, Major League Wrestling, Impact Wrestling and NWA as well as AEW.
In recent years the WWE ratings have collapsed which is for many reasons including people being able to watch on demand these competitors and others as well as just a general choice of people have more options for their entertainment.
The WWE is not without fault the women’s division has been on fire but the rest of the company has lacked creation of big stars with WWE often staying with the same old wrestlers. When a wrestler has gotten over with the fans management hasn’t always listened. Raw for example was stale the last couple of years but under the recent appointment of Paul Heyman the show is paced better, less predictable and more fun to watch.
AEW with its billionaire backers has a real chance to shake things up but the one issue working against AEW is their talent line up and the fact that the WWE has the best talent locked up under contract. AEW does have some good wrestlers under contract such as Chris Jericho, Dustin Rhodes, MJF, So Cal Unsensored, Pac and, of course John Moxley. After those stars the line up is pretty thin and no I don’t include Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks in the top level.
AEW is going to have the production value of a WWE show but the look, camera placement positioning etc the WWE has been doing for years which is the best in the industry which will be tough to replicate. If AEW can be creative enough with the talent they have, as well as adding names when they can they could have a shot.
The first AEW show should get big ratings there is definitely a more casual audience that left after WCW’s collapse as well as a newer audience that might not have got in to wrestling. The ratings for the first few shows doesn’t matter as much then if they can keep and audience and grow it over time. Time will tell if AEW is successful but a competitive market is good for all wrestling fans as competition means the WWE will also improve its content at which point all fans win.