Without a doubt, All Elite Wrestling has taken the wrestling industry by storm since its inception over a year ago.
In those 15 months they have held several events and reached a deal with Warner Media for a weekly show. Then, just three months after AEW Dynamite aired on TNT, they were extended through to 2023. On top of all that, a second weekly show will start airing as part of the extension.
They are undoubtedly the first real competition WWE has had in quite some time. But there is one problem that keeps lingering around: AEW can’t seem to stop slighting their rivals every chance they get.
It started at Double or Nothing and has continued ever since. The most recent instance was from Brodie Lee’s debut two weeks ago. Finally revealing himself as The Dark Order’s Exalted One, he told SCU’s Christopher Daniels that he wasn’t the first out of touch old man to not believe in him.
Everyone knew this was a shot at Vince McMahon, who has a reputation for easily giving up on a wrestler if he doesn’t see anything in them.
While these pokes and jabs are sometimes funny (a la Jericho’s Inner Circle promo), other times they are extremely pretentious. A perfect example was Cody destroying Triple H’s throne with the sledgehammer at Double or Nothing. Oh yeah, that one was totally subtle and unassuming.
It almost feels like AEW is that little brother that must constantly keep reminding you they’re around.
The thing is that they don’t even need to be doing this in the first place; it’s not like they are struggling to get viewers to tune in. WWE’s programming has declined in quality for a while, especially since the storylines and booking have become flat out complacent. Fans wanted something different, and AEW was just what they were looking for.
If you think about it, NXT is easily WWE’s best show and still gets beaten by Dynamite week after week. Since both shows aired on TV, WWE has only beaten AEW three times. The kicker? Two of those wins were the two weeks where NXT was on the air before Dynamite even premiered.
To a point, I can see where they’re coming from; they proved a lot of doubters (certainly WWE included) wrong and enjoy rubbing their noses in it as much as possible. But there must come a time where they start to focus solely on what they’re doing.
Let’s face it, AEW is not the perfect, godsend wrestling promotion that some make it out to be. They have a lot of issues of their own; the women’s division is basically an afterthought, they rely a little too much on former WWE stars, and some matches just devolve into kickout and spot fests.
Instead of figuring out how they’re going to take another dig at WWE, they should look more into fixing their own issues before they become major problems.
Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, there’s going to come a time where the fresh and new wrestling company isn’t so fresh and new anymore. Some fans might lose those rose-colored glasses and see that the company isn’t as flawless and immaculate as they thought.
AEW is in for a rude awakening if they don’t settle down and focus on the longevity of their brand. Continuously banking on WWE having a bad product and giving them ammunition for jokes isn’t going to last forever.
Having decent competition might give WWE the fuel it needs to get things right on their end. At some point (you would think, anyways) they’re going to have good programming again, and that’s the kiss of death for other promotions. When they’re at their best, no one can come close to competing with them.
But if AEW plays their cards right, they can give WWE plenty of competition for years to come. Let’s hope they learn from the ghosts of wrestling’s past, because we’ve already seen this kind of story once before. It would be a shame to see them become the next WCW.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @Shalenehixon21. Thanks for reading!