The show will broadcast from different cities each week. AEW stands for All Elite Wrestling, the buzziest and most audacious promotion to put its hat in the ring in at least a generation. But while WWE has been preoccupied with expanding its global footprint, and adding subscribers to its fledgling streaming network since acquiring WCW in , an independent wrestling culture has flourished, ironically reminiscent of the sprawling territorial patchwork synonymous with the sport before McMahon and WWE barnstormed the business in the s.
They had way more viewers. The level of disgruntlement among fans today is much higher. People were not as hungry for an alternative then as they are now.
A brainstorming session led to a hugely successful, independently produced live event, All In, which sold out the 10,plus capacity Sears Centre in suburban Chicago last September and led them to billionaire Jacksonville Jaguars co-owner Tony Khan his father, Shahid, is principal Jaguars owner , an avowed wrestling nut with cash to spare.
When asked for clarification, AEW reps responded that they do not disclose financial information. By fall , the groundwork for AEW was laid, followed by months of personnel tweaks Scurll stayed on with Ring of Honor , crunching numbers, and careful hiring veteran play-by-play man Jim Ross as commentary lead and backstage consultant, former WWE World Champion Jon Moxley as a marquee main-eventer.
Therein lies the most pressing question for TNT and Dynamite, and above all wrestling fans and potential converts: Will all the beta testing and sunk costs translate into an awesome and inspiring two hours of TV every Wednesday? Neither WWE nor Fox made anyone available for comment as of press time.
Nor, for that matter, is he sweating any outside skepticism about whether AEW can distinguish itself. Everything is directed toward the sports end of the show.
The network has an established reputation broadcasting the NBA and NCAA, as two examples, and sees Dynamite as a natural fit in that rubric as opposed to a novelty outlier. Lifelong fans and passionate pundits like Alvarez hope the resolution is a resounding yes.
That level of mainstream appeal of professional wrestling could be coming back. We just have to wait and see.