Considering AEW already has some stars on its roster and a relative surprising amount of success in its first year twinned with the continued financial backing of the Khan family, everything seems in place for All Elite Wrestling to be here with us for a long time.
AEW has the long-term goal of becoming the next best alternative to WWE and fortunately for them, they are not the first company to have this ambitious aim. Therefore a precedent has been set for how to do things right, and arguably more importantly, how to do things wrong.
Cody Rhodes revealed in an interview with ESPN, at the beginning of this adventure that AEW will learn from the mistakes made by TNA which went through a long series of successes before losing the majority of its audience and networks.
With all this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the things that AEW can learn from TNA’s mistakes.
1. Standing Out
One of TNA’s greatest failures was that it did not differentiate itself from WWE. Instead, TNA adopted the same gimmicks used by WWE which has had a history of using comical tropes that made it a huge success.
But the same could not be said for TNA which seemed at times to be an exact copy of WWE. Instead of being a unique sports show. AEW, conscious of this has already decided to set itself apart from WWE by implementing a win-loss record with a ranking system for wrestlers and focusing on the underserviced areas in the market.
2. Avoid Hiring Old Talent
TNA had a history of hiring any former talent that was once upon a time a superstar in WWE. It consistently signed up any old talent for reinventing WWE’s main events instead of promoting new talents to create something unique and worthwhile.
By pushing old WWE rejects to star in their main events, TNA began to lose its appeal and credibility and it seemed like another copy of WWE.
AEW may try to hire old talent for reinventing and might benefit from it. However, AEW cannot simply hire any old talent and promote them over the likes of MGF and Pac. Therefore, a limited roster of legends should be hired.
3. Avoid challenging WWE head-on
TNA used to throw potshots at WWE during its promotions and even competed against WWE head-to-head on Monday night Raw.
The results were catastrophic for TNA as the potshots damaged the promotion’s credibility, and the airing on Monday night resulted in rating that would have been higher if they selected any other day.
It would be more advantageous for AEW to compete by delivering their products instead of using empty potshots, and their weekly show of course doesn’t clash with the main shows over at the WWE.
4. Destroying Your Own Niche
During its success period, TNA’s X Division was the main event filled with fresh young talents that fans loved. However, TNA chose to undermine the X Division in favor of talents like Kevin Nash.
AEW should avoid destroying its own niche which is shown to be the tag-team matches, and instead push it to the forefront which is something WWE failed to do.
5. Vanity Consumes All
The promotions in TNA were led by the wrestlers themselves during Dixie Carter’s tenure which did not go as expected.
Wrestlers promoting themselves, and establishing a monopoly for the spotlight has never gone well at an international level.
Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks are stars, but they cannot monopolize the spotlight for themselves. Instead, they should leave enough room for everyone else as well.