5 reasons why AEW has been disappointing and 5 reasons they are still generating excitement
Disclaimer: The views of the author do not necessarily reflect those of Sportskeeda
It was the wrestling promotion started on a dare, a bet, and a challenge.
When Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter was asked point-blank if he thought a small promotion such as Ring of Honor would be able to sell out a 10000-seat arena, the long-time sports journalist had one reply.
But social media is not an echo chamber. While there were many fans, promoters, and critics who agreed with 'uncle Dave,' there was one rather high profile dissenter.
Cody Rhodes, at the time, under Ring of Honor Contract.
Shots had been fired. Cody Rhodes and the Bucks set out to prove Dave Meltzer wrong. Over time, it evolved from an ROH show to an independent production, albeit with some cooperation from both ROH and the NWA.
That independent show wound up being All In, and it was a resounding success. In fact, it was so successful that the one-time event evolved into a full-time promotion.
The Elite gathered in the snowy streets of Tokyo, Japan just after midnight on January 1st to announce the formation of All Elite Wrestling. Unlike other start-up promotions, such as Ring of Honor or TNA, AEW would feature some internationally recognized stars and have the necessary financial backing to take on the WWE for their market share.
As each new contract signing and announcement occurred, the fans grew more eager with anticipation. But once AEW achieved the ultimate coup and got Kenny Omega under contract, they haven't been able to achieve the same level of buzz.
With a television deal in the works, and several successful PPV shows under its belt, AEW is off to a start. But many fans have felt varying degrees of disappointment with the promotion.
Here are five ways AEW has been disappointing.
Disappointing #1: AEW doesn't have full time contracted talent
All Elite Wrestling follows the same playbook that Ring of Honor and Impact have when it comes to talent.
While they have stars under contract, those contracts are not exclusive. For example, while Impact won't allow their contracted stars to compete on WWE or ROH, they are free to work for other, smaller promotions or outside the United States.
This allows the wrestlers a great deal of flexibility when it comes to choosing when and where they want to work. However, it can backfire for a promotion. Scarlett Bordeaux, for example, was built up week after week on Impact but departed the company without returning the heat she had been given by other performers. Impact basically helped create a star for a different company.
Recently, the contractual situation in AEW led to the cancellation of a highly anticipated match between PAC and Adam Page. Because PAC was the champion in another promotion, he was not able to lose to Page as planned and their match was abruptly scrapped.
Many fans wish that AEW had full-time contracts for its talent for this very reason.