Is AEW The Next WCW?
It doesn’t sound like a good idea on paper to compare your wrestling company to WCW. Know mostly now for shi–ing the bed and closing when they were the closest company to eliminating WWE, WCW did some great things but is known more as the company who dropped the ball.
So, when President and CEO of AEW says AEW wants to be a lot like WCW, fans of the new upstart wrestling promotion should probably have their collective ears perk up. That said, there are some similarities between AEW and WCW that don’t mean AEW fans need to throw the towel in already.
This whole thing started when AEW’s Tony Khan recently spoke with Decider and said AEW will not be going in a similar direction to WWE in terms of how they build their schedule for tv, live events and pay-per-views. Not prepared to hold multiple events per week, or produce several live tv shows, AEW will focus on just one weekly, two-hour show for TNT, by design.
So far, so good.
Khan then explained, “We’re basing the company to be way more wrestler-friendly and in terms of the scheduling.” Saying AEW will not have constant touring, they will instead focus on the really big events, the pay-per-views and streaming specials.”
That too makes sense.
Like WCW before them, going this route will help lower production costs, make the company more attractive to big-name stars who don’t want to be on the road all the time and set their show apart from other AEW programming.
Then Khan made the actual comparison to a company everyone knows quite well. Khan said not since WCW has there been a “legitimate other company [besides WWE] presenting weekly, high-quality wrestling, and never before was HD available.”
Is This a Good Idea? Comparing Yourself to WCW?
If you don’t take what Khan said out context, you can see why he might be comparing AEW to WCW. The old TNT wrestling show run by Eric Bischoff did some really smart things when they were on top. AEW will need to do the same to even remotely compete with WWE.
But, Khan and AEW should tread carefully here.
While WCW was a legitimate wrestling company with a lighter schedule for the talent, they got cocky. They let talent dictate the direction of the company, things became too easy and eventually, things fell apart.
If there’s one critique that can be made of AEW to this point, it’s that the company feels awfully “buddy, buddy”. Clearly being run by Cody Rhodes, The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega, if things are left only to them and they are dictating the direction of the company on a regular basis, who is watching out for them when they let the early success of AEW go to their heads?
That may not be happening. But then again…