5 things AEW needs to do to defeat WWE
Fans of a certain age are quick to tell you that at the heart of any great wrestling era lies a bitterly fought, equally matched rivalry between promotions.
Even in the relatively respectful days of the NWA, each territory had one eye on how to out-do the rest. As we all know, one company from the North East managed to do just that, and to this day the WWE remains atop the wrestling world seemingly for the foreseeable future.
It hasn't been all plain sailing, however. Whether it was Jim Crockett Promotions in the 80s, WCW in the 90s and - to a lesser extent - TNA in the 2010s, Vince has never been without a pretender to his crown.
Indeed, some of his most creative and memorable work has come as a reaction to competition and it's safe to say that without this kind of direct rival, the wrestling business as a whole suffers greatly.
This is why, as we enter into the 2020s, so many fans across the world are willing the latest claimant to the throne - All Elite Wrestling - to finally slay the McMahon hegemony (or at least give it a prod or two) and give wrestling that sense of urgency and excitement we all miss so dearly.
We are still in the early days of the AEW brand but this gives us all the time in the world to plot out how one up-start promotion can possibly think about taking over the wrestling world.
Yes, with the McMahon fortune and years and years of history behind them, the WWE may never see a rivalry the likes of the Monday Night Wars ever again, but when it comes to Pro Wrestling, anything is possible, right?. So, how are AEW going to defeat the WWE? Here are 5 possible ways they could do it:
#1 Go after NXT first
On the surface, taking on the WWE feels like an insurmountable task. It's not so much David vs. Goliath but rather David vs. Goliath, King Kong, Godzilla and The Big Show in a 4-on-1 handicap match.
That being said, perhaps AEW should not be looking to topple the entire empire in one go. You don't just march into King's Landing and demand The Targaryens give up their seat of power straight away - rather, you pick the battles you have an outside chance of winning first.
Like any 'big man vs. little man' match-up in wrestling, sooner or later the smaller underdog will attempt to get the monster on his back by taking his legs from under him.
NXT is very much the 'legs' of the WWE at present. Triple H's faction spends an excruciating amount of time honing the skills and personas of the developmental talent and end up putting on Takeover shows that more than rival those of the main roster in the process.
Surely a cerebral wrestling company would be looking to target their efforts here rather than trying to infiltrate the heart of the WWE main event scene from the get-go.
What is more, the kind of fans most likely to ditch the WWE for AEW are the kind to watch NXT. The Wednesday night brand benefits from having a more concentrated audience to appeal to and can focus its attention on what the so-called 'hardcore' fans like most - 5 star matches and character development.
AEW are in a position to offer this fanbase an 'NXT-type' form of entertainment without the ominous presence of Vince McMahon and the main roster hanging over it.
No more would fans get themselves invested in a character only for them to vanish into thin air the moment they set foot on RAW or SmackDown. Instead, AEW fans can rest easy knowing that their favourite wrestlers will be allowed the space to raise their own bars and cement themselves as genuine main event talent in their own right.
AEW taking over from NXT as the go-to 'hardcore fan' promotion might not worry Vince too much at this point, but you can guarantee Triple H would have to start paying attention.