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AEW’s War with WWE Helping to Bolster the Sport Itself

It’s been known from the outset that All Elite Wrestling was created to be a direct competitor to World Wrestling Entertainment. Launched on the first day of 2019, AEW represented the first substantially backed challenger to the long-established WWE, and yet, few expected it to rock the entertainment goliath.

Not even two years on from the inception of the AEW, the promotion has crowned several champions across its five titles, with its top talents pulling in an increasingly large crowd of pro-wrestling fans. More notably, however, AEW appears to be winning their battle and, in doing so, bolstering the sport.

The ratings battle begins to sway to AEW

While they’re a bit more open about it than the loyalists of the professional side of pro-wrestling would want, AEW appears to either be invading the WWE’s market share or bringing in more fans. In terms of base numbers, Dynamite has been narrowly losing to NXT, but the Den of Geek report also details that the AEW show is winning over the key demographic.

People in the age group of 18-49 are the primary market for American advertising companies. Over the summer, Dynamite saw a 32 percent increase in the key demographic, with its 0.29 rating surpassing NXT’s 0.22. It’s a significant gain on a Wednesday night, with that particular July 1 show placing AEW sixth in the cable telecasts while the WWE sat in 13th.

AEW was initially seen as winning over more die-hard wrestling fans, while the WWE had become more gimmicky in its attempts to remain relevant and catch click-bait headlines. As noted in the One37pm comparison, the sport is better represented by the new promotion, with writer-driven storylines of the WWE often resulting in more mic-holding than actual wrestling.

Competition is always good at the highest level

WWE hasn’t had a sufficiently-backed competitor for decades, allowing the storied promotion to dictate the narrative and even get a little sloppy or not give the fans what they want to see. AEW muscling into the scene by force, being very direct and even introducing special guests like Mike Tyson, is forcing the WWE to up its game. As the competition ramps up, a better product will be shown on both sides, further raising the sport’s prestige.

The ripple effects of this can already be seen on third-party platforms. A key aspect of sports predictions and sports fandom across the world is the oddsmakers. As shown at Mr Green betting, the odds are representative of probabilities, with markets for the most prominent events being essential to both showcase the likelihood of each outcome. If the bookies present odds on a sport, they trust that it’s legitimate and popular enough to offer markets.

Following the inception of AEW, Mr Green is now offering pro-wrestling markets for upcoming events across several different promotions. This may be down to an increased focus on wrestling talent showcased by the newer promotion, with outcomes being more heavily determined by athletic performance over writer preference.

In any case, AEW is making good on its promise to challenge the WWE. It’s winning over the audience and, over time, it will further enhance the quality of the sport overall.  

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