All Elite Wrestling was founded in 2019, as a competition for WWE. When I first saw their YouTube channel, they had a small ramp, mediocre ring, and a relatively small crowd. AEW looked like NXT, but with some famous names and personalities.
I don't watch NXT. It's for rookies who're getting into professional wrestling. Those that stand out get promoted to WWE RAW or SmackDown.
I didn't believe AEW was going anywhere. It had some disgruntled B-grade wrestlers who hadn't made it to the top of the WWE. I didn't watch any of their shows.
I stopped watching WWE the day the Undertaker lost the streak. That was it for me. I believe that's the last WrestleMania I watched without fast-forwarding the matches.
Here's the thing about WWE: WWE began it's downfall the day it became PG-13. And that's an important lesson for every industry worldwide: If you've got freedom of speech and creative expression, don't kill it to cater to a bunch of kids or pussies. You stifle someone's speech, and you've just shot yourself in the foot. Good luck winning the race with a bleeding foot.
WWE shot themselves in the foot when they went from WWF Attitude Era to the WWE PG Era. I still watch wrestling occasionally when I'm bored. None of it is from the PG Era. Even the goddamn promos from the Attitude Era are more entertaining than the main event matches in PG Era's WrestleManias!
The problem with WWE is that Vince McMahon decides who gets to be babyface and who's heel He decides who's champion and who's jabroni. And when you have an unpopular champion and a popular jabroni who doesn't get any deserving title shots, you'll lose the crowd's interest.
WWE should've taken a break during the pandemic last year. Remember when all TV shows and hosts took a break or isolated themselves? Well, WWE should've given everyone 6 months off, shot a bunch of promos and entertaining stuff, then another 6 months off until everything opened up after vaccination.
Wrestling is all about the fans. The fans make the shows. The wrestlers simply make history while floating on the energy from the fans. If there is no live audience, a wrestling match ain't worth shit. In 2020, WWE tied itself a noose, then put it on.
Meanwhile, AEW was expanding. And the only reason AEW survived this long, is because it had enough funding to push forward. AEW had nothing to lose during the pandemic. They were building their foundation. They were acquiring more talent. They were gaining experience.
It's 2021, and AEW has acquired all the wrestlers who weren't given the proper opportunity to showcase their talent. Their shows now feature a ramp that's as long as WrestleMania. Their events are sold out. Their crowd pops bring back memories of the Attitude Era. Wrestlers have been given A LOT of creative freedom. Daniel Bryan just dropped an F-bomb on AEW for Christ's sake! Does it get any better than this?
The storylines on WWE SUCK! D'you know why? Because they're scripted by a bunch of idiots who don't listen to the crowds or the wrestlers. Once you've built a show, you can't dictate every single thing that happens on it. You just gotta ride the energy from the crowds, go with the flow, and improvise. That's why WWF was so successful.
The way I see it right now, WWE has two options: Bring back the PG Era or go out of business. I know they've got enough money, but they're losing the fans. If you don't change your business direction when you start losing customers, you won't survive for too long.
Do you know why AEW rose to the top? They gave the fans what they wanted. Vince McMahon doesn't listen to the fans. He's too busy coming up with his own bullshit and trying to force it down the fans' throats. It doesn't work like that man. It never does. What did Vince have to lose if he'd listened to the fans? NOTHING. Absolutely nothing!