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AEW - APR 2022


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Perhaps I'm wrong.  Can somebody pull up the year to year numbers on AEW's ratings?  I'd heard a pretty substantial percentage increase from the shows happening in March of last year in comparison to 2022.  

Obviously growth is important, but growth seems steady enough for Warner Media to be happy.  A happiness that will no doubt result in a substantial rights pay increase.  I don't see the issue.

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35 minutes ago, NoFistsJustFlips said:

Sure PPV numbers are growing, I will give you that. And maybe that's enough to keep growing without needing to add more TV viewers. Entirely possible. But if you want a bigger market share, a bigger foot print, making a dent in the idea that "WWE is wrestling" like the general thought is "NFL is football"... it's going to take growing your numbers and reaching a larger audience.

"Bischoff desperation" is such an internet trope man. Signing Hogan (and Hall & Nash & Luger & Savage, ect) was the best move in company history. They went from a company that had lost money every single year of existence to a company making $60 million in profits. That's not desperation at all, and that talking point annoys me so much. It was a strategy, and one that was successful. The plane crashed and burned in the end, but focusing on that disregards them getting the plane into the air in the first place. Anyone else ever top WWE's numbers in the history of the business? Nope. So let's quit acting like there was any desperation in WCW's ascent.

I'm sure Tony is competitive enough to want to be number 1, but I could honestly care less.  I just want them to do what they're currently doing, be profitable, and be where the best wrestlers want to wrestle.  And can be paid comparably to do so. 

I guess I should have been clearer on the 'Bischoff desperation' comment - referring more to stuff like Jay Leno, Master P and the Kiss deal.  The nWo is maybe my favorite angle in the history of wrestling and clearly a winner.  I have a great deal of respect for where Bischoff led WCW to, but I won't or don't disregard the rest of the story. 

Edited by HarryArchieGus
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Remember when Viacom gave TNA the shirt off their back because Dixie brought Hulk to meetings to flex for all of the execs? These are simpletons, they’re going to see the influx of former WWE names and maybe get their kids a selfie with Punk or Bryan, and then they’re going to give AEW a very favorable contract. 

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6 hours ago, Firebreaker Chip said:

Is it bad that he was allowed to say he built the forbidden door? (beyond the fact that it became very annoying as a thing to constantly reference very quickly)

Massively agree with that. And I know who's responsible. 

As annoying as people find WWE Lingo, I never need to hear that term again. 

Edited by John from Cincinnati
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I might be really naive on this, but what entertainment mediums outside of monsters like Marvel are growing? Feels like everything is a niche nowadays because of wide availability, and each independent audience is getting smaller as more and more niches are developed and take audience share.

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6 minutes ago, For Great Justice said:

I might be really naive on this, but what entertainment mediums outside of monsters like Marvel are growing? Feels like everything is a niche nowadays because of wide availability, and each independent audience is getting smaller as more and more niches are developed and take audience share.

Yes I agree 100% with you. But when there are multiples of the same niche (ala Marvel & DC are both superhero properties, ect) then there is definitely room for growth with the number 2. Wrestling specific, the amount of people that like wrestling in some form and will watch it on tv is about 2.5 million (SD's ceiling). So that means there are about 1.5 million people that are part of that niche that aren't watching AEW currently.

And maybe this is a nerdy subject not everyone finds interesting lol. But the business part of wrestling is the part I am the most fascinated by. You are def right in the sense that there are soooo many options out there for every medium, everything is niche today. It's just a matter of maximizing the niche you're part of. AEW hasn't hit that ceiling yet. I would like to see their TV numbers go up. They are going to get a great TV renewal at 1.1 million viewers. But at 1.6 million they would get an even better renewal. Which in turn gets more money to the performers.

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26 minutes ago, HarryArchieGus said:

Perhaps I'm wrong.  Can somebody pull up the year to year numbers on AEW's ratings?  I'd heard a pretty substantial percentage increase from the shows happening in March of last year in comparison to 2022.  

Obviously growth is important, but growth seems steady enough for Warner Media to be happy.  A happiness that will no doubt result in a substantial rights pay increase.  I don't see the issue.

I actually think that is the route for continued growth and potential explosive growth as well. In 2022, people will mostly shun overly promoted products for quality products that grow audiences almost by word of mouth. Programs like Schitt's Creek and Breaking Bad put out quality entertainment for years before they totally exploded in popularity, and they exploded in popularity because they had created such a good product. As long as AEW continues to cook and put out high-level programming, the audiences will eventually follow (not that they are anything to sneeze at currently, especially with live crowds and PPV buys).

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Another good point. Breaking Bad grew partially because it was put on Netflix and more people were able to give it a chance via binging. And then appreciating the excellence of the show.

Outside of a streaming platform for themselves, is it possible AEW could grow via a Netflix maybe? I know Lucha Underground tried the Netflix route. But the channel that aired on was very limited on who could tune into it if then enjoyed seeing it on Netflix. Could AEW try and produce content aimed at Netflix or HBO Max to catch the attention of new eyes? Maybe it would work, maybe not. But those are the kind of outside the box ideas I was talking about.

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6 hours ago, Firebreaker Chip said:

Is it bad that he was allowed to say he built the forbidden door? (beyond the fact that it became very annoying as a thing to constantly reference very quickly)

I'm not unsympathetic to the idea that Tony Khan needs to impose a bit more message discipline and consistency on his product, but is Rhodes referring to a nebulous concept that got invoked on TV nearly every week, in a rambling promo about nothing much where he came across as a bit of an idiot, that big a deal? If anything it seems that Cody being allowed to have his own little sandbox was just the cost of doing business to keep a guy who was to some degree a draw and liked by the network etc, but as we've seen that all became too much of a pain in the ass for everyone involved and it's been resolved in a way that's probably best for everyone.

The alternative would have been either not working with Cody in the first place, or changing everyone's name, insisting on giving them music you own, and having bullshit 90 day no competes, which would just be pushing AEW into being a company nobody particularly wants them to be

 

Yes. It's bad they let Cody do whatever he wanted, especially while he wasn't under contract. That's a rookie Dixie Carter move.

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Remember when Viacom gave TNA the shirt off their back because Dixie brought Hulk to meetings to flex for all of the execs? These are simpletons, they’re going to see the influx of former WWE names and maybe get their kids a selfie with Punk or Bryan, and then they’re going to give AEW a very favorable contract. 


That was not a winning or good long-term strategy for TNA.

 

Edited by TheVileOne
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I guess I didn’t appreciate a mature woman enough in my youth, because watching that clip now was a lot like how I felt when I got into watching Designing Women: Hot damn, Dixie Carter. 

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Isn’t working with Dan Lambert and bringing in Paige Van Zant and the other MMA folks an attempt to grow the market and bring in “combat sports” fans?

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2 hours ago, Curt McGirt said:

Yeah all this bullshit should be moved to the Navel Gazing thread. 

Is Cody Talk going to become the new March Madness?

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I think Tony booking FTR-Bucks for Wednesday is incredibly shrewd. Lots of stuff going on this weekend, attention is elsewhere, and by Wednesday he's going to give people something massive enough to get a lot of attention focused squarely on his wares. 

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3 hours ago, HarryArchieGus said:

Perhaps I'm wrong.  Can somebody pull up the year to year numbers on AEW's ratings?  I'd heard a pretty substantial percentage increase from the shows happening in March of last year in comparison to 2022. 

TK said about 30% year over year.

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3 hours ago, John from Cincinnati said:

As annoying as people find WWE Lingo, I never need to hear that term again. 

On that note, I really don't need to hear the full phrase "cold-hearted handsome devil" fifteen times per Hook appearance either.

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4 hours ago, NoFistsJustFlips said:

Another good point. Breaking Bad grew partially because it was put on Netflix and more people were able to give it a chance via binging. And then appreciating the excellence of the show.

Outside of a streaming platform for themselves, is it possible AEW could grow via a Netflix maybe? I know Lucha Underground tried the Netflix route. But the channel that aired on was very limited on who could tune into it if then enjoyed seeing it on Netflix. Could AEW try and produce content aimed at Netflix or HBO Max to catch the attention of new eyes? Maybe it would work, maybe not. But those are the kind of outside the box ideas I was talking about.

I think they are doing this with the approximately 73 hours of weekly youtube content. A while ago I talked about the idea of a weekend morning shot aimed at kids, someone in here said kids to day watch youtube on their phones as opposed to cartoons.

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7 hours ago, Curt McGirt said:

Yeah all this bullshit should be moved to the Navel Gazing thread. 

I tried, pre-emptively, to get an "is AEW better off without Cody?" discussion going in that thread two weeks ago, even before the Wrestlers Moving On thread discussion turned sour. Maybe March 20th was too soon? 

Interstingly, @TheVileOne was the first person to reply in that thread. 

While acknowledging that Cody is a draw, his reply started with this:

" I personally couldn't stand Cody and his batshit, rambling nonsense promos. Ever since his weird America promo in May 2021, Cody has just he started overstaying his welcome. It got to a point where he was totally oblivious that he had gone from being Captain America to Captain Cringe... "

So it's interesting that he now thinks it was a huge mistake to let him go!

Of course, people are allowed to change their minds, or to be inconsistent.

Anyway, I'd encourage any further thoughtful discussion be continued over there.

I'm pretty sure that we've also discussed "how can AEW grow" at length in both of the Navel Gazing threads.

I am very very firmly in the "keep doing what you are doing and grow organically through positive word of mouth" camp, .and also of the opinion that AEW is better off being number two with rabid hardcore fans who support them trying new and crazy things, than LCD-ing their shows to try and get closer to number one (I made specific arguments saying they are better off being Rick and Morty than being The Simpsons, and also compared AEW to Letterkenny).

I continue to believe that they are way better off being Five Guys than being McDonalds and to believe that allowing creative freedom and a happy supportive atmosphere outweigh being able to pay everyone absolute top dollar.

I also don't  think that same-day US-only television ratings are anywhere near as meaningful as they once were. It ain't the Monday Night Wars anymore, as fun as that ratings discussion once must have been for some of us here.

Outside the box revenue streams are almost certainly way more important to the bottom line than cranking up same day US TV ratings, as long as the network remains happy.

Anyway, I'd also welcome more discussion on that topic in the Navel Gazing thread. The idea being that we keep the discussion in this topic germane to April 2022.

Edited by Gordlow
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On 4/3/2022 at 1:01 AM, JLowe said:

If @Gordlowwould allow me to assume the role of philosopher for a minute, a role he fills so wonderfully, one thing I’ve noticed so far is that many of us have competing faves/not faves, yet we all love what they are doing almost all of the time.

I appreciate the compliment. Thank you.

I haven't done any kind of statistical breakdown or even counted the names but I feel that there's a pretty noticeable trend in the "not my guys" category. It's not 100 percent, but it seems like a huge majority of the guys listed are ones who didn't quite wipe off all the Performance Center from their boots before entering the AEW ring, or guys who still work an Attitude Era highspot/stunt style.

I'm surprised by that! 

I tend to approach AEW as a buffet. The Japanese and Japanese-influenced stuff, the comedy stuff, the BMMSM, the stiffness, the ladies and lads who found a foothold on the YouTube shows and worked their way up the ladder, Mark Henry and Big Show and Ex and Tony on commentary... There are so many things I really like. 

The ex-HHH's NXT guys, the Attitude-era stars and stunts, the Death Match stuff, thumbtacks, Taz and JR on commentary, the Cody-verse (while it lasted) and some other minor things were not what I specifically came for, but I figured lots of other people were enjoying them and they were probably drawing lots of other eyes to AEW. 

It's surprising and interesting to read that Adam Cole and Matt Hardy (for example) are on a lot of "not my guys" lists. 

I don't hate the HHH's NXT and Attitude Era stuff, it's just not one of my favourite parts of the buffet. But I had assumed that those were the specific things that were bringing lots of other people in. 

It seems very cool to me that a lot of people seem to prefer AEW to do AEW stuff first and foremost. I still would not go so far as to suggest that the parts of the buffet I am (we are?) less into should be removed from the buffet... 

But maybe if those sections were made a little smaller there'd be a bit more room to expand our favourite sections. 😃

(maybe this is also a topic for the Navel Gazing thread)

Apologies, also, for two long posts in a row).

Edited by Gordlow
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1 hour ago, zendragon said:

I think they are doing this with the approximately 73 hours of weekly youtube content. A while ago I talked about the idea of a weekend morning shot aimed at kids, someone in here said kids to day watch youtube on their phones as opposed to cartoons.

Another good idea. Instead of just assuming that kids will find AEW on You Tube I think it could be worth it to film one separate match a week aimed at kids and do a specific wrap around and package it all together ala the NXT Kids pilot WWE shot. Keep doing what they do otherwise. But adding a separate 30 minute You Tube show dedicated and aimed at kids with like a fun Danausen match or OC match or Statlander leaning heavy on the alien stuff. Do that and kid friendly recaps with bright colorful Saturday Morning graphics. Maybe even Danhausen does commentary for the show? Danhausen and Tony laughing and nerding out, seems kid friendly to me.

Just free balling here. But definitely could get more kids on board with AEW that way.

Edited by NoFistsJustFlips
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20 minutes ago, Gordlow said:

It seems very cool to me that a lot of people seem to prefer AEW to do AEW stuff first and foremost. I still would not go so far as to suggest that the parts of the buffet I am (we are?) less into should be removed from the buffet... 

I agree wholeheartedly here, and it really highlights the importance of AEW's positioning as an alternative. To tie this back into the conversation about growth, even if they never catch up with WWE ratings-wise, what you wrote is at least anecdotal proof that there is and was an under-served market for non-WWE wrestling in the U.S. Considering the idea I've seen floated that the All In buys and U.S. NJPW World subscriber numbers were sort of used as proof of concept for AEW, the idea that AEW should stick and stick hard to doing AEW things is IMO near 100% valid

Edit: That said, it's also worth mentioning: if TK plays ROH right, if you can't be number one, there's surely a lot of money in effectively being both #2 and 3

Edited by Zakk_Sabbath
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1 hour ago, Gordlow said:

I tried, pre-emptively, to get an "is AEW better off without Cody?" discussion going in that thread two weeks ago, even before the Wrestlers Moving On thread discussion turned sour. Maybe March 20th was too soon? 

Interstingly, @TheVileOne was the first person to reply in that thread. 

While acknowledging that Cody is a draw, his reply started with this:

" I personally couldn't stand Cody and his batshit, rambling nonsense promos. Ever since his weird America promo in May 2021, Cody has just he started overstaying his welcome. It got to a point where he was totally oblivious that he had gone from being Captain America to Captain Cringe... "

So it's interesting that he now thinks it was a huge mistake to let him go!

Of course, people are allowed to change their minds, or to be inconsistent.

Anyway, I'd encourage any further thoughtful discussion be continued over there.

I'm pretty sure that we've also discussed "how can AEW grow" at length in both of the Navel Gazing threads.

I am very very firmly in the "keep doing what you are doing and grow organically through positive word of mouth" camp, .and also of the opinion that AEW is better off being number two with rabid hardcore fans who support them trying new and crazy things, than LCD-ing their shows to try and get closer to number one (I made specific arguments saying they are better off being Rick and Morty than being The Simpsons, and also compared AEW to Letterkenny).

I continue to believe that they are way better off being Five Guys than being McDonalds and to believe that allowing creative freedom and a happy supportive atmosphere outweigh being able to pay everyone absolute top dollar.

I also don't  think that same-day US-only television ratings are anywhere near as meaningful as they once were. It ain't the Monday Night Wars anymore, as fun as that ratings discussion once must have been for some of us here.

Outside the box revenue streams are almost certainly way more important to the bottom line than cranking up same day US TV ratings, as long as the network remains happy.

Anyway, I'd also welcome more discussion on that topic in the Navel Gazing thread. The idea being that we keep the discussion in this topic germane to April 2022.

Here's the other thing I wrote in that response that was blatantly ignored:

Quote

At the same time, I think there's enough evidence to show he was a draw and fairly over for the most part. Just in terms of pure numbers, I don't think AEW is better off without Cody and Brandi. In terms of on-air product...I mean...yeah kind of. Cody building up to a heel turn that was never happening was tiresome.

I know what I said. I remember what I said. I didn't like Cody's storylines or promos by the end of AEW. All that aside, Tony Khan letting him go under the circumstances he did, with that final promo he did on Dynamite was dumb. It was idiotic. I stand by what I said. I didn't change my mind. I take nothing back.

People are allowed to have different competing thoughts at once. I can see that Cody was a big star and draw for AEW, but I wasn't enjoying the direction of his character in AEW either.

Edited by TheVileOne
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