‘We want our debut in London to be epic in scale, and there’s no better venue than Wembley Stadium to deliver what I know will be one of the greatest events in AEW’s history.’
That’s Tony Khan to digitalspy.com and it’s a big statement. Not the 02, the Stadium. 90,000 seats. And it’s got 2 good marketing hooks too;
1. 100 years of Wembley and 100 years of Warner Bros to celebrate
2. It’s the event that really laid the way for AEW five years ago, All In
This all sounds great, doesn’t it? And it is, if you want to see your favourite wrestlers in the flesh, perhaps albeit as a smudgy blob hundreds of feet away or on a gigantic TV screen, but the atmosphere will be great.
And it will, so why am I not donning a party hat and cutting the cake? Because I’m a curmudgeonly swine with multiple bad news days at the moment? Possibly.
But I reckon there’s more to discuss.
It’ll be great. Of course it will, wrestling is what AEW do, just slightly more than WWE do at the moment. Those angles, some hokey, have crept in, haven’t they?
Now then, I watch AEW and enjoy it, just listen to my Elevation and Dark podcast reviews for Sunday Night’s Main Event, I don’t watch WWE and feel I can’t really start again now; some of the wrestling in AEW is top notch, I just wish there was more of it.
So the All In card, the wrestling action, will surely contain some 5 star matches. After all, Jay White is now All Elite, which I think you’d have got very short odds on, so by the time this August even rolls round, he should be in the main event picture.
This isn’t the concern. I just want to know why.
AEW Is The Most Most Watched Wrestling TV In The UK
Tony Khan said so. To The Sportster;
‘There are parts of the world where we are number one which is amazing, like the United Kingdom.’
But as that website points out, it needs to be looked at and pondered; probably mainly because AEW are on free to air ITV4, whilst WWE, the main wrestling rival, are on subscription service BT Sport. We can also talk about the times that Raw and Smackdown air live, early morning slots – it’s complicated and no one can be blamed for making figures which look good into a good news story.
Credit; Post Wrestling
Is It All About The WWE?
AEW haven’t really become the financial and fan fear to WWE. They’re a significant compe
titor, but not close in the rear view mirror, certainly.
Some have commented on the back and forth between AEW and WWE and this will cause even more consternation.
Because this patterns what WWE, then WWF, did. Remember this? I do. I went to a mate’s house to watch it :
Summerslam 1992. Warrior v Savage, Bret Hart v Davey Boy Smith, LOD on bikes trundling onto the pitch. It was a good card – despite Papa Shango, Nailz and Kamala being involved – and thought of fondly.
Credit; TJR Wrestling
Plus the WWF said there were over 80,000 in attendance and although that’s disputed, it certainly looked full; it was a big success.
But does that mean AEW have to go there? August. Wembley Stadium. It really does smack of WWF Summerslam ’92. And WWF went to Wembley Stadium 5 years after their pomp of 1986 into 1987; AEW are going to Wembley Stadium 5 years after they started. There’s symmetry here.
And following in the WWF’s footsteps isn’t where AEW want to be. It seems as though they’re in the shadow, they don’t have their own standing, that they’re a baby WWE.
And they aren’t, they are so much more than that; so why make it look as if they aren’t?
The elephant in the article? 80,000. The WWF did it? Can AEW? Lots say they can, but I remember the buzz around the WWF in 1992, so many people I knew watched it, that buzz was akin to a megahive.
Fans are less kayfabe these days, more understanding of the business, able to access more grappling action, I don’t remember knowing of many other easy to access wrestling independents in 1992.
So AEW have a tough task. They have to get close to that 80,000, any curtained of sections will be leapt upon by commentators, well, like me.
Credit; Mountain Productions
I admire the aspiration, it’s admirable. Hubris is excessive self confidence and I hope we haven’t got that here I really do. People asked why climb Mount Everest and the reply was ‘Because it’s there’; yes, bur Wembley has already been conquered…