Thoughts on All Elite Wrestling

Corbin Macklin

Credit: AEW

I want to lead with this: I am a wrestling fan. Not a WWE fan. I have no bias towards WWE because they are not paying me, I am paying them for the WWE Network. I hate when fans are loyal to brands that have no loyalty to them. Remember, mark: YOU pay them. THEY pay you no mind. As a wrestling fan, I am desirous that all wrestling promotions do well because that means that there is more good wrestling content for me to consume. The wrestlers have more options. If they don't like what's going on where they are, they can go elsewhere. All of that said, I am very disappointed with what I have seen from AEW thus far.

This is the first match in AEW history. This battle royale was for a spot in the inaugural AEW Championship match. They had a legless man in the match. A guy stapled a lit cigarette on another man's forehead. A hold was escaped by baby oil. This is too much goofy shit for A MATCH THAT QUALIFIES YOU TO BE IN THE FIRST AEW CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH. I was hoping that AEW would present an alternative to the silly bullshit that WWE does. They said this would be a sports based presentation and that is not what AEW is. I know Jim Cornette is very extreme in a lot of things he believes and espouses, but one thing we can agree on is that AEW largely has a roster of outlaw mudshow guys.

I'm writing this after having seen the Money in the Bank match. I know that has nothing to do with AEW but follow me. I didn't like it because it was not presented seriously. It was all comedy and cameos and then a comedy underneath guy won a near guaranteed world championship. I bring this up because, I believe a lot of the people that LOVE AEW these days are people who hate WWE's presentation. Problem is, those people have blinded themselves to the fact that AEW is a reskinned WWE. That street fight main event was terrible because you had two people get run over by a golf cart and they won the match. One of the losers changed costume twice. The heel faction jumped the babyfaces and no one came to help.

Let me start a fresh paragraph for this here.

A lot of wrestling fans don't understand how wrestling used to be. They've only seen WWE angles and most of AEW's people are former WWE talent. Back in the day, when you would have a heel or a group of heels getting heat, they only had a few seconds before the bell was ringing repeatedly and officials and babyfaces were hitting the ring to stop it. That was what you did when you wanted it to be logical and make sense and have a sense of realism. Now, you can beat on a babyface for 10 minutes straight and no one will say or do shit. One of the things that has buried Roman Reigns in the eyes of many observers is "why is he always saving people and they never come to save him?" Sooooooooo many times folk have gotten all kind of heat on him and no one comes out. Sometimes you know that that wrestler's friends and/or stablemates aren't there. That still doesn't explain why NO ONE else is watching backstage and willing to jump in. That makes you think they don't have friends and no one cares about them. Think about every pull apart you've ever seen. It looks like every underneath guy in attendance comes to try to break it up. I often watch those and think "why this desperate need to stop people throwing hands but not when folk are taking their time setting up and using furniture?"

My biggest gripe with All Elite Wrestling is The Elite. Anything people can do, you'll find someone to disagree with it. I'm sure a lot of people think it is noble of Cody Rhodes to not want to be the booker and in every main event like his father was. I think... It sure would have been nice to not know that Cody, The Bucks and Omega are all Executive Vice Presidents but intentionally avoiding being on screen authority figures or using their stroke to monopolize all the belts. I think it's stupid to LITERALLY BRAND THE COMPANY in your name and then shy away from being the leading men of said company. The Elite are guys who have made their name on the independent scene and in Japan. AEW is an American promotion. I think it's reasonable to assume A) most avid AEW followers know the history of The Elite and probably watch the YouTube show and B) most of the people they would like to START watching the show, buying merch and tickets and pay per view DON'T have a clue who Kazuchika Okada is or why he matters to this discussion.

I will admit: before Meltzer lost his shit over the first Omega/Okada match I had no idea who either of them were, and I wasn't following Japanese wrestling at all. After I started to watch more Okada matches I started to realize that that dude might be the greatest wrestler ever. Before AEW was something anyone thought could happen, Meltzer loved to speculate at how Omega could go to WWE today and supplant Roman as the top pushed talent. That just makes it clear Dave never really loved Omega. Omega had all the hype in the world as the best wrestler. He started his own wrestling company. And he has done NOTHING to show Americans what all that hype was about. Yes, The Elite CAN do favors to help other talent get over. AFTER they themselves have been smashed over. Everyone can see potential in names like Jungle Boy, MJF, Darby Allin etc. BUT you need to build your own name value before you can trade on it. As much as everyone hates WWE and loves NXT and AEW, those shows are doing less than half the worst ever Raw and SmackDown ratings/viewership.

I think that if AEW were to invest heavily im pushing The Elite, and cut out all the bullshit comedy, they WOULD attract the audience that is tired of WWE's shit. Instead, they are more of the same. I want better for them. And us.