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AEW - FEB 2021


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Have they announced whether this new, oh let’s call it, “big show” on Mondays will be one or two hours?  Are they going to take an hour from Dark?  Will each show run two hours?  

Maybe I’m getting too old.  Can someone explain how Elevation on Mondays will be different from Dark on Tuesdays?  

 

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5 hours ago, christopher.annino said:

I'm only glancing through the last few pages and unable to watch Dynamite live so if it's been mentioned or is happening right now, I apologise... but... gimme Wight mentoring John Silver to be the biggest little giant ever. 

I can’t see it being better than Scott Steiner mentoring Petey Williams.

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Color me as someone unconvinced by this signing. Wight was already winding down his career and was pretty much little more than a goodwill ambassador in WWE for the last few years. AEW already pretty has an overcrowded line of commentators. Do they really need another? Is Wight's strength really commentary?

In terms of credibility, how much more credibility do they need at this point? Dixie Carter brought in every former WCW and WWE guy she could to try and make a new Monday Night War and it meant little in the way of giving credibility.

What lends credibility is the product you put on TV and not insulting your audience's intelligence. Like the opposite of what Game of Thrones did in its final two seasons.

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7 hours ago, NoFistsJustFlips said:

Now does that value outweigh his draw backs? Opinions definitely vary on that. But no one should puzzled at what he offers. He's legitimately the most famous & well known commentator in the history of the business.

I think this is what it comes down to and I could have articulated that better. Arguably between Schiavone, Jericho, Tazz, now Big Show, there’s enough familiar voices from the boom times to make the lapsed casual fan take notice. And between Dustin, Arn, CD and others there are enough vets with experience in the ‘old school’ business who can be voices to push back against the excesses of the modern style and ground the show in the drama of athletic competition, if there is appetite for that. 
And that’s the other part of it. Without seeing the inner workings of the promotion, there’s little evidence in the last 18 months that AEW’s vision has been honed by the output of consultation with JR in his official capacity.

And if that’s the case, and if some of his positive bases are already covered by others, why keep him around, except for the big-picture ‘good for business/good for TNT’ arguments that justify things like the Shaq match but don’t make for a compelling and high-quality show. I would say it’s not worth it but to your point, opinions vary.

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Important to note that amongst all of this talk about Dark: Elevation, that it's not the third hour of programming that Tony was talking about. There's still yet another show on one of WarnerMedia's channels to debut this year apparently.

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If they limit Wight's ring time, having him used in specialized spots to do things like even up the odds for outnumbered faces, they can still get alot of mileage out of him.

Plus he will be an invaluable learning resource for the big men on the roster and any the pull into development.

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6 hours ago, TheVileOne said:

In terms of credibility, how much more credibility do they need at this point? Dixie Carter brought in every former WCW and WWE guy she could to try and make a new Monday Night War and it meant little in the way of giving credibility.

What lends credibility is the product you put on TV and not insulting your audience's intelligence.

I'm not sure if this example will help you understand any better, but lets use WCW because it's the only example of a company over taking WWE. In 1993 & 1994 the in ring product was really good. Vader running roughshod, Rude, Steamboat, Dustin, Austin, Pillman tearing it up, ect. But they were a deep deep number two. And it took a combination of A LOT of moves for them to close the gap. In addition to the money saving moves Bischoff did, he went out of his way to sign guys that had lots of TV equity. Earthquake. Bossman. Duggan. Honky Tonk Man (for a cup of coffee) and of coarse Hogan. Business metrics started to get better but they were still a clear number two. Then he got Savage. Then came Nitro. Then he got Luger. It was all about momentum and getting wrestlers that people are familiar with in addition to signing new exciting unknowns like Mysterio / Jericho / Benoit / ect.

The people that were already fans of WCW stayed. But what these moves did is change the perception that this was a knock off of the big time WWE. By the beginning of 1996 there were more familiar faces in WCW than WWE. More star power. More TV equity. WWE built new stars. Then he even took those, Hall & Nash, and that's when things really started cooking. My point is this is the only blue print to success that exists. WCW fans were already WCW fans. But all the moves grew the fan base with new eyeballs. That's what AEW is doing. They already have their fans. Now they are trying to grow and get new fans. And it's going to be even tougher than WCW because WWE has been The NFL of Wrestling unopposed for 20 years now.

The reason why this is different than TNA is because TNA was always just an indy company. It was mismanaged and run by carnys. And on their best day, even with all the big names they had at one time, they averaged an audience about 1/5 of AEW's regular viewers. They probably had like 8% of what AEW's operating income is. AEW is a legitimate business with real employees in the office. A legitimate owner that runs an NFL franchise and a pro soccer team. TNT is a real network who has paid a rights fee for programing. AEW isn't TNA so a lot of the TNA mistakes need to be ignored. They were ran like just a big indy with a money mark. What had Dixie Carter ever been successful at? Were they ever viewed as a legitimate company? No. Not by TV networks or advertisers. So people gotta stop holding TNA's sins against AEW's future choices.

As for the quality point, I understand completely and it makes sense. But WCW in 1993 & 1994 had really good quality. And no one gave a shit. The people who did give a shit were already hooked. To grow and get bigger and over take WWE they had to change and appeal to more than just the people already watching. Quality alone isn't enough for wrestling. Wrestling isn't Game of Thrones. It isnt a 7 year journey into a single story conclusion. So just saying ignore everything else and just do a good show isn't really going to work, for professional wrestling.

TLDR : Quality is subjective and kind of irrelevant. Catering to the 700k they have isn't going to grow that number. They need momentum & credibility. Adding big name stars is how they do that. Don't hold TNA's sins against other companies.

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^^ Good post but way off on the TNA comparison. “On their best day TNA averaged 20% of AEW audience”. ? Peak TNA exceeds AEW ratings. TNA had v low production values though and I think this is certainly an area where AEW has held up very well w. WWE. Very professional presentation.

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In all seriousness, if AEW starts building their show around "big name" wrestlers from the past in an attempt to court "casual fans" they will lose me and I would have to imagine they will lose a significant percentage of the 700k who watch week in and week out now. And I entirely doubt that they will attract anywhere near enough eyes to match the number they will drive away. 

Long term, Sting and Big Show are not going to move the needle. At all. There is nobody they can bring in who will do so. 

I don't think that is where they are headed, though. 

I hope, and more importantly I believe, that AEW is content to develop young and lesser-known talent and allow things to grow organically. I kind of think that Sting and Show are guys that they want to work with because they have some fun ideas for how to use them and they have friends on the roster and backstage. I sincerely doubt that anyone working there is dumb enough to try and use nostalgia to bring back the days when millions of people watched wrestling every week. Those days are gone. 700k, week in and week out is just fine for now. In fact, it's pretty great. 

Keeping those fans  happy is the key to continued success. Growth, if it comes, will come organically.

Edited by El Gran Gordi
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I would be very, very surprised if 700k a week on the landmark show is enough to make this project financially self sufficient. They started the program in the million + mark and they need to find a way to push back there.

Edited by A_K
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7 minutes ago, A_K said:

^^ Good post but way off on the TNA comparison. “On their best day TNA averaged 20% of AEW audience”. ? Peak TNA exceeds AEW ratings. TNA had v low production values though and I think this is certainly an area where AEW has held up very well w. WWE. Very professional presentation.

I just looked it up and I made a mistake, you're correct. I was going of Pop TV & Destination America rating for some reason instead of Spike TV. Their biggest *rating was Hogan's first show, a 1.3. AEW's debut show did their best *rating a 1.5. TNA on Spike's average was about 800k, taking the whole run with dips and valleys averaged out. So roughly the same average as AEW now.

*using the rating points here is a bit deceptive. A 1.3 when TNA got it equated to about 1.5 million viewers. A 1.5 for AEW's debut equated to roughly 1.5 million for their show at the time. Peaks are roughly the same. Average viewers is roughly the same too.

 

But my main point still stands, the appearances of management are night and day. TNA was never considered legitimate, and always viewed as inexperienced carnys by the TV & advertising world.

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5 minutes ago, A_K said:

I would be very, very surprised if 700k a week on the landmark show is enough to make this project financially self sufficient. They started the program in the million + mark and they need to find a way to push back there.

TNT is paying them $43.75 million dollars a year for Dynamite. They are absolutely profitable at this point. Even in a pandemic. And TNA never once pulled a profit. Spike TV paid them peanuts and the deal was only worth it because Spike TV were paying Hogan, Sting, & Flair's salaries themselves.

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The original attitude era version of the Big Show theme was the best one imo. It sounded like he was unexpectedly kicking your door/house down all like "guess what motherfuckers!!", whereas the later one sounded like him slowly waking up to listlessly shout at some kids for being near his lawn

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15 minutes ago, NoFistsJustFlips said:

TNT is paying them $43.75 million dollars a year for Dynamite. They are absolutely profitable at this point. Even in a pandemic. And TNA never once pulled a profit. Spike TV paid them peanuts and the deal was only worth it because Spike TV were paying Hogan, Sting, & Flair's salaries themselves.

Do you have the data on profits?

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30 minutes ago, El Gran Gordi said:

Long term, Sting and Big Show are not going to move the needle. At all. There is nobody they can bring in who will do so. 

Don't want to put too much effort talking about things that'll never happen, but this is a strange thing to say while neither Brock Lesnar nor John Cena are under contract with WWE.

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