AEW: It’s Time To Grow

Let’s talk about AEW. With just under a year of TV time under their belt, is anyone else now getting tired of the constant WWE bashing?

I get it, quite a few on their roster were fed up with the creative in WWE. They have aired their grievances via podcasts, interviews, and social media. It started when AEW was announced, Jericho continued doing it, Moxley did it, and now every time an ex WWE employee debuts – boom, let’s take a pop at WWE.

Miro (Rusev in WWE) debuted last Wednesday is just the latest in a long line. It’s been a bone of contention with most wrestling fans on how WWE creative simply didn’t use his talents enough. Ever since Rusev day hit fire, WWE firstly didn’t acknowledge it, secondly, when they did, it was mainly for comedy purposes.

As with many before him, Miro starts his AEW career with a pop at the competition. in fact, I think you’d struggle to find any ex WWE wrestler that has made the switch that hasn’t started their first promo without a diss at their previous employer.

I got it at the start. Mentioning WWE’s name helps to create a buzz. Mentioning them gives the wrestling websites a reason to type WWE. It helps the story/review get more publicity. WCW did it back in the 90’s and TNA did it in 00’s. Over time, it becomes a bit meh. Constant mentioning of the competition is for me, lazy.

Even back during the Monday Night Wars, WCW was not mentioned all that much by WWE. TNA/IMPACT, NJPW and ROH are all rarely referenced – they are simply ignored. You can count on one hand how many times WWE mentions another promotion not affiliated to them in the last 20 years. There’s a reason for that and it’s simple. Mentioning them gives them air time. Talking about another promotion, gives them a free ad (the best example of why not to do this, see WCW giving the title match result away to RAW January 4 1999).

To be a true alternative to WWE, like TNA tried to be but failed, bashing the competition just appears Indy and AEW are simply not Indy anymore. Yeah, it’s cool and your already existing fan base will eat it up, but it won’t win any WWE fans over in the long term. And like it or not, that’s what AEW want and will need.

The end of this must start at the top, and that’s on Tony Khan. There is no shame in loving your product. Big it up as much as you want, promote it in any way you see fit, but taking shots and saying stuff like “Double or Nothing” beat the crap out of “WrestleMania”… why even mention WrestleMania? In the current climate we find ourselves in, I think both shows did everything they could do make their product the best it could be.

Then we have the news last week about the 3rd party creator sites such as Cameo and Twitch. Again, WWE does something, AEW just can’t resist the opportunity to talk about it. Outside of our wrestling bubble, the casual fan doesn’t care.

It’s constant and AEW just can’t seem to stop. Just this week we have Chris Jericho continue the trend with another comment on NXT. Did NXT move to network TV to mess with AEW? It’s a very real possibility. However, let’s not forget that AEW picked a Wednesday night in full knowledge NXT was on the WWE Network at the exact same time.

Whilst I understand the need to do it in interviews, especially when asked, continuing to do it on their shows, just makes them seem WWE-Lite. It happened with TNA and if it continues, it will happen with AEW.

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