AEW’s Future is Threatened: Can It Overcome Obstacles?

AEW's Future is Threatened by Potential Roster Upheaval and TV Contract

December 22, 2023

During episode 665 of Wrestling Uncensored, broadcast live on Youtube, Rumble and Twitch on December 22, 2023, co-hosts Dave Simon and Pro Wrestler Johnny “Genesis” North weighed in on the clouds surrounding the second most popular wrestling company and how AEW’s Future is Threatened by Potential Roster Upheaval and TV Contract with the uncertain future of All Elite Wrestling. Dave and Johnny discussed the rumours of WWE negotiating with WBD and where that could leave AEW in 2024 and 2025.

Dave and Johnny also spoke of CM Punk’s sporadic appearances in the WWE with scheduled matches against Dominik Mysterio. The prospect of his involvement in WrestleMania 40 has spurred intense speculation within the WWE Universe. Punk’s return has also impacted ratings and merchandise sales; check out more details in this article. They also pondered where MJF might land and the Royal Rumble.

Support the Ringside Report Network

AEW’s Future is Threatened: Prospects Abound

  • Star Performers’ Status: The hosts discussed the potential retirement of Bryan Danielson and the illness of Kenny Omega. These developments are significant because these wrestlers are major attractions for AEW. Their absence could lead to a noticeable decline in fan interest and ticket sales, which contributes greatly to why AEW’s future is threatened,
  • Impact on Drawing Power: Without key figures like Danielson and Omega, AEW might struggle to maintain its current level of popularity. This situation is exacerbated by the aging of stars like Chris Jericho and Sting’s retirement.
  • Uncertain Landscape: The discussion also discussed the uncertainty surrounding MJF’s contract status. This uncertainty can create a shaky foundation for AEW’s future planning and fan engagement.

Marketing and Promotion

  • Inconsistent Storylines: Simon and North criticized AEW for the lack of consistent storylines, citing examples like El Hijo Del Vikingo, who, despite showcasing talent, lacks a coherent narrative or character development.
  • Fan Engagement: They noted that while AEW often delivers exciting matches, these frequently don’t contribute to larger story arcs, leading to fan confusion and disengagement.
  • Comparison with WWE: WWE was mentioned as a contrast, with a more predictable but stable narrative structure that fans can follow.
Aging AEW Superstar, Sting, has announced his pending retirement, here he is with an even older Ric Flair
Aging AEW Superstar Sting has announced his pending retirement.

Product Quality and Fan Engagement

  • Uneven Show Quality: The hosts pointed out that AEW shows can be a mixed bag in terms of quality. While some segments are high-quality, others seem aimless or lack context.
  • Confusion Among Fans: They emphasized that this inconsistency often confuses fans, as the storytelling lacks clear direction, affecting the overall fan experience.
  • Need for Better Storytelling: The conversation suggested that AEW could significantly benefit from improved storytelling and match planning that aligns with long-term narrative arcs and could turn around the current theory that AEW’s future is threatened.
The AEW Live Experience
The AEW Live Experience: Photo credit Dave Simon of the Ringside Report Network

WWE’s Strategic Moves

  • Potential Broadcasting Shift: A significant point of discussion was the rumour about WWE possibly moving RAW to the same broadcaster as AEW. This move could create direct competition on the same platform, intensifying the challenges for AEW.
  • Implications for AEW: The co-hosts expressed concern that such a move could overshadow AEW’s programming, forcing them to re-strategize their broadcasting schedule or content approach.

Takeaways and Hopeful Outlook

Will Osprey
The Aerial Assassin, Will Osprey, has signed with AEW, entering their ring early in 2024

Leveraging Existing Talent and Star Power

  • Maximizing Star Potential: Dave and Johnny discussed the importance of AEW utilizing its existing talent more effectively. This involves creating compelling storylines for wrestlers who may not be in the spotlight.
  • Navigating Star Absences: In light of potential retirements and health issues of critical wrestlers like Bryan Danielson and Kenny Omega, AEW needs to build new stars and elevate existing talent to fill these gaps.
  • Investing in New Talent: The hosts suggested bringing in fresh talent, such as Will Ospreay, could significantly boost AEW. Ospreay’s addition was viewed as a potentially big win for the promotion.

Focused and Strategic Marketing

  • Storyline Consistency: The discussion highlighted the need for more coherent and consistent storylines, ensuring that each match and segment contributes meaningfully to a larger narrative.
  • Fan Engagement: By improving storytelling, AEW can better engage fans, especially those who might be confused by the current product’s uneven quality.
  • Promotion Tactics: The co-hosts noted the importance of effectively promoting upcoming matches and events, ensuring that fans are excited and aware of what to expect.
Stylized wrestling ring with wrestlers hovering overhead
Stylized wrestling ring with wrestlers hovering overhead

Adaptability to Competitive Moves

  • WWE’s Broadcasting Strategy: The potential move of WWE’s RAW to the same broadcaster as AEW was discussed as a significant challenge. AEW must adapt its strategy to maintain its audience.
  • Schedule Adjustments: If WWE shifts its programming to compete directly with AEW, the latter might need to consider adjusting its broadcast schedule to avoid direct clashes.

A Hopeful Future Despite Challenges

  • Overcoming Current Difficulties: Despite the various challenges discussed, there was an underlying sense of optimism about AEW’s ability to overcome these hurdles.
  • Potential for Growth: The hosts believe that with the right strategies in place, particularly in marketing and talent utilization, AEW has significant potential for growth.
  • Role of New and Young Talent: The conversation underscored the importance of younger talent in shaping AEW’s future. The hosts mentioned wrestlers like MJF, who could play pivotal roles in AEW’s success.

The Impact of Fan Expectations and Company Responses

  • Managing Fan Expectations: AEW needs to be mindful of how fan expectations evolve, especially in response to storyline developments and character arcs.
  • Responsive Storytelling: The promotion should respond quickly to what works and doesn’t, adjusting storylines accordingly to keep fans invested.

Long-Term Vision and Planning

  • Strategic Long-Term Planning: For sustained success, AEW must think long-term, planning storylines and character developments well in advance.
  • Balancing Predictability and Surprise: While some level of predictability is comforting to fans, AEW should also aim to surprise and delight its audience with unexpected developments.

Summary

In summary, while acknowledging the company’s current challenges and the fact that AEW’s Future is Threatened, Dave and Johnny, the co-hosts of Wrestling Uncensored, expressed a hopeful outlook for the promotion’s future. This optimism is contingent on AEW making strategic improvements in talent utilization, storytelling, marketing, and adapting to competitive dynamics in the wrestling industry.

Support the Ringside Report Network
DAVIDsTEA

Montreal Screw Job Commemorative T-Shirt

$35.00$36.75

Own a piece of WWE history with the exclusive Montreal Screw Job Commemorative T-Shirt. Featuring the iconic Survivor Series 1997 poster, this premium tee captures the controversy and drama of the unforgettable night in vibrant detail. Soft, breathable, and durable, it’s perfect for wrestling events or casual wear. Limited stock – secure yours and wear…