AEW - The Familiar Tale of a Startup Wrestling Company

in wrestling •  last year  (edited)

As a long time fan of WWE, I welcome competition. It isn't every day when a company rises from nothing (albeit with the backing of a multi millionaire) gets a national TV deal with TNT and is poised to compete directly with the Titan giant that is WWE.

Wait... didn't that happen once before?

All joking aside, this does seem a little 1997ish in it's story, but the talent level this go around is unrivaled. When WCW started gaining momentum, some said it was with WWE's (WWF at the time) B-players. The older, washed up wrestlers like Ric Flair, Macho Man Randy Savage, and eventually the grandpappy of them all, Hulk Hogan.

Regardless of what they did, it worked. February 3, 1997 WCW surpassed the WWE in the ratings sparking what some would call the greatest era of wrestling, The Monday Night Wars.

While this was a GREAT time to be a wrestling fan, it wasn't so great to be a McMahon. The pressure and stress to deliver a product that was as entertaining as his rival Eric Bishoff was mounting on the shoulders of ol' Vinny Mac. Enter the Attitude Era. With wild antics, curse words, half naked women and - yes, bedpan shots to the head. Vince McMahon and company slowly but surely climbed back to the top of the mountain, and claimed its former glory.

AOL Time Warner sold the trademark for WCW's name and logo to the WWF for $2.5 million, in 2001. Shortly after the purchase, Vince McMahon purchased the entire WCW videotape library for an additional $1.7 million, bringing the final tally of World Championship Wrestling's sale to $4.2 million. It would go on to showcase the saddest burial of professional wrestlers in history.

Fast forward 18 years, to 2019 when Tony Khan convinced his billionaire father to start All Elite Wrestling - an outlet to feature some of the greatest indie talent that had yet to get a shot in the 'big leagues'. Staring in the face of Titan Sports and it's WWE, Khan opened the door and the talent came running.

With several successful PPV's in the books, of which the wrestling was some of the best this reviewer has seen in DECADES, Khan is moving his AEW promotion to TNT this October. It brings to mind the aforementioned WCW and their meteoric rise to fame, will AEW fizzle out like TNA's IMPACT! Wrestling? Will Titan Sports and Vince McMahon be able to buy out someone that has more resources than he? Who knows, but it's a great time to be a fan of wrestling, because we're the ones that will truly benefit from the back-and-forth one upsmanship that will inevitably happen.

Stay tuned, wrestling fans - things are about to heat up.

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