This coming Saturday, AEW is hosting their second “Double or Nothing” pay-per-view event. It will be held, as most wrestling events are these days, in an empty arena, with one match taking place in an empty TIAA Bank Field; home of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
On paper, this actually looks like a pretty good card. There are some good matches featuring great talent, and AEW has actually been doing a very good job of producing weekly television shows during the current COVID-19 pandemic that is sweeping the world.
However, as I look up and down this card, along with the entire history of AEW, I’ve been thinking about it and what ideas they have brought to the table. And if we are being completely honest, almost everything that they have done has either been a shot at or copied WWE, which shows that they know who the top dog is, despite claiming to be the alternative. And this idea has left me with one realization that deep down, I already knew.
In my opinion, AEW is proving why WWE will always be the top wrestling company in the world.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I actually enjoy their product, for the most part, and think that they are doing some very creative things. In addition, their in-ring action each week has been terrific, and many of the talents are putting on great matches every single week. There are even times when I look forward to their show more than WWE’s.
But, let’s look at some facts:
- Ever since the company has been in existence, only three people have been in the world title picture. Chris Jericho, Jon Moxley, and Brodie Lee. All ex-WWE guys.
- Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Arn Anderson have been brought in as coaches. Ex-WWE guys.
- Their top storylines ever since the company was formed have all featured Ex-WWE superstars.
- Bret Hart was brought in to introduce the AEW Championship. Ex-WWE guy.
- Oh, and they are bringing in Mike Tyson to serve as an “enforcer role” this weekend, much like he did at WrestleMania 14.
The majority of their roster is made up of Ex-WWE superstars who didn’t make it up north. And now they are signed to AEW because they were the “internet darlings” and were the people that everyone wants to see.
However, there is a reason that some of them didn’t make it up north, despite how talented they are. It’s because they don’t have gimmicks that work, or for whatever reason, they aren’t connecting with fans. The biggest example of this is Brodie Lee.
I’m sorry, but what did he do to deserve an AEW title match right after his debut? He is decent in the ring and on the mic, but his gimmick in AEW sucks. And what happens when he loses to Jon Moxley this weekend? This basically shuts down the entire Dark Order because it proves that the “Exalted One” wasn’t capable of getting it done.
And what was his gimmick for the first few weeks? Taking shots at WWE, using Sister Abigail as one of his moves, as well as saying that he is not a “disillusioned old man who doesn’t recognize talent” or something like that.
Besides, we have seen this match before, several times:
The bottom line is that AEW is not pushing its own home-grown talent. Which is an absolute shame, because they have some of the best and most captivating wrestlers in the world, that are getting their big break in AEW. People like MJF, Darby Allin, Orange Cassidy, and Sammy Guevara are all amazing wrestlers, who deserve their shot.
But I have this strange feeling that AEW is going to keep pushing ex-WWE superstars just to build a name for itself, despite the fact that they have already arrived. They have amazing wrestlers who are well known that have never stepped foot in a WWE ring, or did so in a very limited and forgettable capacity. Superstars such as Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, “Hangman” Page, and Lance Archer.
The only Ex-WWE superstars that get a pass on this are Matt Hardy and Chris Jericho. Hardy has said that he wants to fully explore the “broken” gimmick, which WWE wouldn’t let him do. And Chris Jericho has re-invented himself yet again and is perhaps better now than he ever was as “Le Champion”.
But people like Brodie Lee, Jake Hagar, and Billy Gunn and even JR are only there to try to have the company build a reputation off of what WWE superstars did. So, it would seem that the only way to get a shot in the company.
AEW needs to do something unique to have it stand out. As of right now, they simply copying the WCW model of bringing in a bunch of people that everyone already knows and hoping that it works.
I will be the first person to admit if I am wrong, and down the road, all of a sudden, we get new, fresh and captivating matchups featuring talent from all different walks of life. But I will believe it when I see it.
The bottom line is that WWE is always going to be the top dog, and will always be the standard, despite what everyone on the internet may say. Every wrestling company will build around stars that Vince McMahon created. And that is why they will always be the best wrestling company in the world.
What do you think of the direction that AEW is headed? Leave us a comment below, or post a comment on our Facebook page! Also, be sure to sign up for our newsletter!