A lot of people believe that in the wrestling world competition breeds excitement. There is no doubt that the WWE has stagnated since its purchase of WCW. The company was at its brilliant best when going toe to toe with its rivals WCW.
New kids on the block
It looks like the WWE may get a rival worth taking on soon. The brainchild of Cody Rhodes (remember him?) and The Young Bucks, AEW is the new boy in town. And the promotion is really starting to make waves. They recently announced the signing of one of pro wrestling’s hottest free agents, Kenny Omega. As if that weren’t enough his official signing was interrupted by former WWE superstar, Chris Jericho.
Is Chris Jericho a big deal?
Yes, he really is, even in his advancing years he still has the ability to put on stellar matches. However, it is his ability to entertain and his legacy that makes him such a coup. Y2J was the first ever WWE undisputed champion. A feat he accomplished by beating both The Rock and Steve Austin on the same night. Some accomplishment. He is highly decorated, and before effectively snubbing Vince McMahon looked like a nailed-on Hall Of Fame inductee. He is also wildly entertaining, during his last WWE run his “you just made the list” schtick was the highlight of the show.
So what makes them different from Ring Of Honour or Impact?
There have been many indy feds that have risen up to a certain level but none have ever really come close to threatening the WWE as the number one US promotion. So what makes this promotion any different? For a start the financial clout. The company is presided over by Tony Khan, son of Billionaire Shahid Kahn, who is financing the venture. They have trademarked the name “Tuesday night dynamite”. And many speculate this could be the name of a future TV show, with the company reportedly courting TV offers.
What about Impact?
It has been a long time since they have had any sort of real rivalry with WWE. For a while, it looked like TNA (as they used to be known) may be the company to step up and challenge Vince McMahon’s monopoly. They certainly had the talent back in the day with stars like Samoa Joe, AJ Styles even CM Punk. Then when they signed Kurt Angle, Hogan and Mick Foley it looked like they had taken a step up. However, they have floundered and found themselves with a lack of talent and a TV slot on a poor network. TNA or Impact Wrestling as it is now is effectively a dead duck.
Could we see a return of the Monday Night Wars?
Well to begin with we may get the Tuesday night wars! It would be great to see the show get put in a similar slot to Smackdown. If nothing else if the show dented Smackdown’s ratings it would force the WWE to try and spice up their weekly programming. This can only be good for fans of the product.
There were whisperings of CM Punk being offered a contract by AEW. This seems highly unlikely as Punk has reiterated that he is done with wrestling. If they could somehow lure him in it may just generate the sort of buzz to kickstart a “war”. It is believed that AEW is going to be focused more on the athletic side of the sport rather than the entertainment slant provided by the WWE. The wisdom in this tact remains to be seen. Although just cutting out gimmicks and letting people’s personalities shine was the approach ECW used and that helped to make stars out of people like Steve Austin, Foley and Jericho. Could we be set for a new era in wrestling? Let’s hope so.