Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past few months, you’ll know that Cody and Brandi Rhodes, The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) and Kenny Omega have started their very own wrestling company, All Elite Wrestling.
Since announcing the formation, they’ve announced a PPV, Double or Nothing and – perhaps more crucially – a TV deal on TNT in America. AEW might have a real chance of succeeding where WCW, ECW, TNA and countless more have failed, and that is becoming a welcome alternative from WWE.
For AEW to succeed, they need both their TV and PPV product to be on fire. There’s no point in producing quality PPVs if no one watches the TV show, or vice versa. A fantastic TV debut would show everyone that they are going to be a major force in wrestling for years to come. Here are five things AEW need to do on their TV debut.
1. Start Off With A Killer Match
One of the main complaints of WWE programming is that the start of the shows is always a 15-minute promo detailing what’s going to happen during the night. It drags on for ages and makes fans turn off.
With the talent AEW have at their disposal, a great match at the start of the show would show just how good AEW will be.
HOWEVER it shouldn’t be Rhodes, The Bucks, Omega or Chris Jericho.
One of the reasons WCW Nitro was a success from its first broadcast is because the opening match was Jushin Thunder Liger vs Brain Pillman, two relatively unknown superstars at that point. It was a match that no-one had seen before, and one that set the tone for a fast-paced, dynamic show.
AEW could do the exact same. A never-before seen match could set the tone and prove that they’re a welcome alternative to WWE. My pick would be Adam Page vs Fenix. It’s never been done before, and it would be completely different to anything WWE would put out.
2. Show Off A New, Unannounced Signing
AEW have been on a signing spree ever since they came onto the scene, signing people from across the globe be they American, European or otherwise. They currently have over 40 male and female stars signed to contracts, and they’ve shown no signs of slowing down.
Obviously, there is a risk of AEW having a bloated roster like WWE, but hopefully that won’t become an issue. One thing they absolutely should do however, is introduce a brand new, high-profile signing.
They can do this in a few good ways. They can do a promo segment to introduce them, have a pre-taped promo or have them interrupt a match to attack someone, thereby setting up a feud and establishing them as a major threat going forward.
With them not airing shows until October at the earliest, it gives them more than enough time to scout talent and bring them to AEW. Obviously, they’re not going to get high-profile WWE or NJPW stars, but someone like Jeff Cobb or Jay Lethal would be a great signing for the company. They might even manage to get a couple of ex-WWE Superstars in, which would make things extremely interesting going forward.
3. Make Tag Team Wrestling Great Again
WWE currently has some of the best teams in the world right now, but simply refuses to do anything good with them. It’s infuriating, because tag team wrestling can be amazing.
Tag team wrestling is currently at an all-time high. Promotions across the planet are using tag teams to great effect right now, with teams such as Aussie Open, LAX, The Rascalz and CCK having great matches with everyone.
In terms of teams, AEW currently has The Young Bucks, The Lucha Bros, Chuck Taylor and Trent Berreta and SCU among others in their ranks. None of them are what you call terrible, so AEW should capitalise on this and prove just how good tag wrestling can be.
Their opening show doesn’t need to feature all of them, but whoever it shows off, they need enough time to show everyone watching how good tag wrestling can be.
4. Show How Good Women’s Wrestling Can Be
If AEW want to prove how different they are from WWE, then they’ll frequently show off their entire women’s division. 9 times out of 10, the women have the match of the night in WWE, so the women’s division of AEW will need to hit the ground running.
They currently have some great talent signed, such as former Impact Wrestling Women’s Champion Allie, Brandi Rhodes and Britt Baker, as well as a handful of others. They probably will sign more as the months go on, but the ones they’ve currently got are more than good enough to prove how great women’s wrestling is.
By having the experience of wrestlers like Allie as well as some up and coming wrestlers such as Bea Priestley, AEW currently have a good mix of talent in which to build a division around. A strong showing on the TV show will let everyone know that AEW takes their women’s division seriously.
5. Make Chris Jericho the AEW Heavyweight Champion
YEAH, I SAID IT. Yes, at first it might all feel very 2000 WCW and TNA but think about it for a second. AEW will need a lot of casual fans, especially ones that might have just stopped watching WWE. Plus, Jericho is one of the most recognisable names in wrestling, and one that will attract a lot of fans to the product.
Also, think about it. Who else could be champion that point? Kenny is better at chasing a belt – his NJPW run proved that – Cody will have other plans and Hangman will need to be built up before he challenges for the belt.
As said above, there is a slight chance it goes the way of TNA and people hate it, but Y2J can use all this to his advantage. He can brag about winning titles in every company he’s ever been in, and then that can set up a feud with a newcomer who’s sick of people like Jericho taking opportunities from everyone. Someone beating a legend such as Chris Jericho will only elevate their career and make them a big deal in AEW.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @Bannister007. Thanks for reading!