Occasionally, I’d tune into the WWE, maybe watch a bit of IMPACT, ROH, JPW or MLW, but nothing really captured my attention like the wrestling of my youth. I was happy to watch a good match recommended by a friend, (like our webmaster here Michael) and I’d catch the occasional pay per view here or there, but attending live events was my bread and butter since that is when I felt closest to the wrestling that I loved. Predictability, low production values, bad commentary, inconsistent storylines, and well… attitude is what kept me away from really becoming invested in another wrestling company. I knew good wrestling was out there, but none of it really checked off all the boxes that I wanted in a company.
For every hour of modern wrestling that I watched, I’d argue that I watched two-three hours of classic wrestling. Old Memphis wrestling, WCW, and NWA were my usual go-tos, because that was what I enjoyed the most. But even then, the amount of time I dedicated to watching wrestling was quite limited to what a lot of fans watched and what I watched back in my high school years.
I never thought I’d look forward to watching a weekly wrestling show again, at least, not as much as I used to. I never expected there to be excitement, unpredictability, great commentary, and production values that made me look forward to watching every week. Then AEW came along, and everything changed.
I was excited for AEW when it was announced, because I’ve felt that the WWE needed a real competitor for quite some time. I needed an alternative, because the current wrestling landscape wasn’t cutting it for me. We are living in a wonderful time with tons of great talent all across the world, but there wasn’t that one place for them to really shine and tell long-term stories. I argued for years I needed someone to curate a list of matches and storylines for me to watch each week, just so I could keep up with all the great wrestling that was going on each week, but that never happened. But what did happen was AEW, and since October I’ve watched AEW every single week, and watched almost every episode of Dark as well.
AEW isn’t perfect. There are some booking issues and some growing pains they are still experiencing, but it’s the perfect wrestling for me. It’s not overly polished, they actually wrestle, and it feels old school but with a new school mentality. My favorite wrestlers in AEW are wrestlers I didn’t even know about a year ago. People like Sammy Guevara, Darby Allin, and Hikaru Shida. Arguably my all-time favorite announcer, Tony Schiavone, is there to call the action and is flanked by Excalibur who is truly one of the best. The wrestler who arguably got me interested in wrestling in the 90’s was Chris Jericho, and he’s firing on all cylinders and is the most enjoyable I’ve seen since that time in WCW.
Another thing I love about AEW is the amount of wrestling that I have to keep up with. I’ve hated how many hours the WWE puts out each week, but a two hour show on Wednesday nights is perfect for me. I can watch Dark if I want to, or not and I don’t really miss all that much. Same goes for Being the Elite. Both Dark and BTE are there to enhance the storylines and maybe tell some secondary feuds, but they aren’t required to enjoy Dynamite and the pay per views and I love that. Speaking of the the pay per views, they are spread out which gives the storylines time to grow and evolve organically and allows me to become invested.
I know AEW isn’t for everybody, and that okay. There is plenty of wrestling out there that wrestling fans can I find pretty much type of wrestling that they want. But for a guy like me, who spent most of the last twenty years looking on from the sidelines, it’s nice to feel invested in a company again. To feel like the company actually cares about the fans and their input. And as weird as it may sound, I feel like I’m on a journey with these guys. I root for them and for this company, because I want to see them do the impossible and revolutionize this business. I want wrestling to be represented by the best while they are being allowed to be their best and I feel like AEW does that well.
I’m so excited for the future of AEW and I can’t wait to see what they are going to do next. I’m happy to call myself a wrestling fan and I’m so happy to have a wrestling weekly wrestling available to me that I enjoy.
Stay safe out there.