Competition is Good

Corbin Macklin


I recently saw something on social media about Randall Keith Orton being interested in AEW. I do not believe for a second that he's actually going to go to AEW, I think he is just using them as leverage to get a better deal than he would otherwise. I have been on record as saying that I think that the best thing for wrestling is if WWE has serious competition. This is one of the many side effects of that competition. I believe in my heart the only reason R-Truth recently won the US championship is because maybe WWE wants to keep him as an underneath guy and they trust him a lot since he has been in the business a long time. It has been wrestling tradition that whenever a guy's contract is coming up all of sudden they get big angles and a push, maybe even a belt or two. Now that AEW is looking like something serious, the boys are about to get all kinds of ridiculous contracts and pushes. I am here for it. It is definitely what is best for business.

I literally sit around and daydream about possibilities like "what if AEW gets a TV deal with one of the big networks?" and "what if AEW starts a streaming service like WWE Network but without all the original programming, just wrestling content?" I am not wanting a world where WWE ceases to exist, but one where other companies are viable. When I say viable, I am saying that NJPW and ROH and TNA or whatever their name is now will only ever be at a certain level. The exciting thing about AEW is that it is new and therefore the potential for it has not been seen yet. The real truth about the Attitude Era is that it was hotshotting that has burned out most of the fanbase who don't realize that. It was exciting, but there was a lot of bad things that went down that the business still hasn't recovered from. WCW no longer exists in part because their flagship show went to three hours and then they started a second show. WWE has gotten away with overexposing their business for so long because no one else is around to capitalize on fans who want wrestling but are tired of the way WWE does things. The combination of the now being a bunch of cool heels and Stone Cold Steve Austin not being a traditional white meat babyface has made it virtually impossible for anyone to get over as a babyface.

On that last point let me gone head and start a whole new paragraph. Most wrestling fans think they understand what "over" means. "Over" is NOT when the crowd pops for you. I think of "over" as being more of a function of "the fans believe in you, whatever you're doing" and that what "over" looks like, is that a beloved babyface can turn heel and the fans do not continue to cheer them, or when the heel turns babyface then they are white hot getting cheered. A few years ago, fans wanted Seth Rollins to turn babyface but he stayed heel and even when the fans cheered his entrance he could say a few words in a promo and get them to boo him just as hard as they were cheering a few seconds ago. Also, you have to influence fans to buy merchandise, tune in to the shows, and buy tickets to the shows. You COULD actually say almost no one is really over in WWE right now. It seems like everytime they turn heels babyface the fans who were cheering them as heels stay silent when they are supposed to get cheered. And, like I referenced before, the era that most wrestling fans claim is the best ever, was a time where the coolest thing on WCW tv was a heel faction, and the coolest thing going on WWE was a guy who was an alcoholic who cursed and flipped birds all the time. So, those fans are older now and they raised their kids watching that old stuff and now they see the garbage WWE does now and they never like anyone as a babyface really. Please resist that urge to hit me up talking about "what about Bayley?" or something like that. Bayley was the most lovable babyface in the history of the business (hyperbole) in NXT and WWE had fans booing her with less fervency than they boo Roman but fervency nonetheless. Anyway, my point is: I really hope that AEW presents real wrestling with heels and babyfaces and fans buy into the presentation and it's not more of this grey area bullshit that does NOT sell as many tickets and merchandise as when the rooting interest is clear.

Back to AEW getting TV... if they get a one hour show once a week and STAY there for a while then at MOST push two hours, they are going to take a wide swath of WWE's fanbase. Not kill it, but force WWE to make some real changes that its fans have been begging for. WWE currently has 2 NXTs, Raw, SmackDown, a cruiserweight show and that is just too much wrestling for even the most dedicated wrestling fan to keep up with. So say AEW comes out and does the same thing. Then they are the same and I wish for the next wrestling promotion to finally come out and do things the right way.

New paragraph for this: what if CM Punk finally decides to stop getting beat up in MMA and goes to AEW? I will mark out so hard for that. I am praying for that. Please Black Wrasslin Jesus give me back CM Punk with more control over his creative direction... omg that would be so great.