All Elite Wrestling provides an alternative for wrestlers


Fahim Khan | The Ticker

Fahim Khan

All Elite Wrestling, LLC, a professional wrestling company created on Jan. 1, 2019 has become legitimate competition to the multibillion-dollar wrestling company that is World Wrestling Entertainment. On its way to becoming a successful company, AEW has allowed its talent to work with multiple smaller, independent pro-wrestling companies, creating a booming industry.

For the past 41 years, WWE has taken wrestling, and created stars such as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, John Cena, Ric Flair, Brock Lesnar and Mark Calaway, The Undertaker.

These superstars of the past, and the superstars of today such as Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens, have helped in sell out arenas and create a company that, as of 2020, was reported by Sportskeeda  to be worth up to $5.71 billion. The immense success of WWE has for many years made it impossible for smaller independent companies to even come close to their level.

With that being said, the WWE has also had its fair share of problems. From scandals, to deaths, the company’s image has always been a controversial one.

The issue that has had the biggest effect on fans is WWE’s misuse and mistreatment of talent, indicated by how many wrestlers have come out and talked openly about how unhappy they were working there after leaving.

An example would be AEW superstar Jon Moxley, formerly known as Dean Ambrose in WWE. Ambrose was successful in WWE, but one may say his character never lived up to its creative potential.

“If there’s one thing I want to do, I want to prove that your creative process — the WWE’s creative process, sucks. It does not work. It’s absolutely terrible…. It’s killing the company and I think Vince is the problem. Not so much Vince, but Vince and whatever structure he started building around himself,” Jon Moxley said during a podcast with wrestling legend Chris Jericho. Moxley is referring to the billionaire CEO of WWE, Vince McMahon, and the creative structure around him.

Moxley and others have often talked about how WWE wrestlers are overly scripted and never truly given the freedom to express themselves. When talent doesn’t fully believe in what it  is being told to say and do, it often leads to a bad product in the ring.

Another example of an unhappy wrestler would be Phillip Brooks, known as CM Punk who, during his time in WWE, helped create an anti-hero who was brutally honest. Fans related to this personality and loved him to the point that even after he left the company in 2014, they continued to cheer his name at WWE events. Cheering CM Punk became an act of rebellion for fans..

After leaving, Punk went on his friend Colt Cabana’s podcast.

“I thought this thing that I loved, that I thought I loved, it just made me so miserable all the time. When you boil it all down, I was miserable,” Punk said, describing his time in WWE, and how it ultimately made him lose his love for wrestling.

Although Punk was so beloved by the fans and was someone who put his body on the line for the company weekly, he often had to lose to part-time talent, which ruined months of momentum that he had built up. Punk felt as if his only option was to leave. He was so miserable, that when he left, he vowed to never wrestle again.

Five years after CM Punk left WWE, All Elite Wrestling was founded by Tony Khan, co-owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars. In the beginning, AEW signed former WWE superstar Cody Rhodes, WWE legend Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley, along with some of the most talented independent Wrestlers out there, such as Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks and Maxwell Jacob Friedman.

An average person may not know these names, but among hard-core fans they are very popular. Bringing them all into one company, with a large financial backing, gave All Elite Wrestling a chance to succeed in the industry. “I’m here because I believe in doing something different, I believe in doing something new.”  Chris Jericho said after joining AEW. “I’m not here just to change the world. AEW is not here just to change the world. We are going to change the whole universe,” he added.

That is exactly what AEW has done. It has changed the whole wrestling universe.

In only two years and 10 months, AEW is now filling arenas in large wrestling cities like Chicago and New York. Recently, it had a show in the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Queens, in which it sold more than 20,000 tickets making AEW Grand Slam one of the highest attended wrestling show in New York History.

AEW has now secured a four year, $175 million dollars deal with TNT, allowing them to have their weekly shows AEW Dynamite, and AEW Rampage on national TV.

Many well-known former WWE names have switched over to AEW. Some of those names include CM Punk, whose debut led to an enormous eruption inside the United Center in Chicago. After Punk came over, Daniel Bryan, Adam Cole and Ruby SoHo, all former WWE talent in their primes, followed.

AEW has built a reputation as a company that listens to fans and gives its talent more creative freedom around characters.