What if AEW fails in its first year?
Wrestling pundits have been buzzing for months about the prospect of AEW posing legitimate competition to WWE. What started out feeling like a pipe dream has grown more and more real. There was the reveal of Tony Khan as a billionaire backer, Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega choosing AEW over WWE, and the latest rumors about AEW talking with Turner and other prospective big names to host their television product.
We could be looking at a new era of competition in American wrestling at its highest level. Of course, things might not work out that way.
While AEW has potential and resources, it still has a long way to go. What if the buzz wears off, some of the business decisions are off, the TV ratings aren’t there, or AEW otherwise fails in its first year? This article takes a look at what they potential outcome might mean for the wrestling world and particular stars from it.
#5. Ring of Honor and New Japan make pushes
While a lot of fans have focused on the prospect of AEW challenging WWE for wrestling supremacy, a more concrete story in progress may well be how AEW has leapfrogged every other promotion.
Whereas Ring of Honor and Impact Wrestling have long been in contention for the spot of the number two US based promotion, and New Japan has asserted itself as the top entity from abroad, AEW has acquired much of the top tier talent that had worked on these rosters, or might have been on their way to them.
If AEW doesn’t work out, there will be quite a few talents left without a clear path forward, and ROH and NJPW will probably be in the best position to gobble up these names. Moreover, with AEW out of the picture, these second tier promotions may seize on the opportunity to push for aggressive growth.
While neither may be in a position to supplant WWE as the world leader in wrestling, either could shore up their spot as number two, and NJPW in particular could push harder at building its US fan base.