AEW: Destroyer of Small Promotions

The talk all over the wrestling world is All Elite Wrestling and how they have the McMahon Family and WWE scared. Fans think that this is going to be the return of the “Monday Night War”.

All eyes are focused on the upstart that The Young Bucks and WWE castoff Cody are lending their collective names to. They have a billionaire backing the promotion who has promised to invest $100,000,000 into the company to start. Rumors of a major TV deal give AEW a chance to compete with WWE. That’s where the problem lies. The competition at this point doesn’t lie with the McMahon Family Empire.

When attempting a new upstart company their sights should be set on surpassing Ring of Honor, Lucha Underground, Impact Wrestling, Major League Wrestling, or New Japan before thinking they should take on WWE. In trying to compete with WWE, AEW has potentially alienated themselves from a working relationship with NJPW. Now onto the real problem; AEW is going to cause damage to many secondary companies that have helped the main performers on the AEW roster make their names.

They have Cody Rhodes, The Young Bucks, Frankie Kazarian, Christopher Daniels, Chris Jericho, and PAC (the former WWE cruiserweight champion known as Neville) and more. As AEW continues to sign away wrestlers from ROH and New Japan one can only assume it’s a matter of time before they reach out to Johnny Impact or Brian Cage and start to make a play for the top talent from Impact. As they continue to gut the rosters of the smaller promotions where does that leave them? What does the future hold for Impact and their struggles if they lose what little star power they currently have?

Billy Corgan has tried to resurrect the NWA and even put their title on Cody during the All In event. What does this mean for them as the contracts for the smaller promotions become exclusive deals and there is no more talent exchange. Even if we do continue to get a territory style talent exchange who is going to be the draw when all of the top independent stars are locked into long term deals to keep them from working the indies?

In 2001 the two party wrestling system went away and evolved into the entertaining product we have today. However, wrestling fans have more options today than ever before. The issue at hand is that AEW is going to try to take us back to the days of two options in wrestling by raiding the locker rooms of every secondary promotion.

Only time will tell how it all plays out. Wrestling in general is more exciting right now than it has been in years. I hope all involved can thrive. My only advice to AEW is this: don’t make the mistakes Bischoff made. Don’t make it a competition that you can’t win. WWE has been the unstoppable force in wrestling for decades. Build your company, do you, and don’t worry about what Vince and Hunter are doing.

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