As I wrote in the “State of the Site” article last week, I’ve gone “cold turkey” away from WWE product. Yes, even NXT. I know, right? So, is AEW going to be the “savior” that keeps me paying attention to pro wrestling? Maybe. But, for the sake of conversation, here is my AEW wishlist – a list of things I think it would be cool to see AEW implement. Of course, I realize that possibly nothing in this article will come to pass but it’s fun to be optimistic.
My AEW Wishlist
No Three Hour Show
I know the Young Bucks have commented that three hours is too long and that gives me hope that AEW won’t find themselves falling into a network trap if/when they sign a TV deal. In my opinion, a weekly two-hour show is even too long. NXT clocking in at one hour is the perfect amount of time for me to commit to on a weekly basis. Anything longer than that means I’ll likely digest the show over the course of several days. I mean, I’m sure there are people out there that enjoy spending two or more hours in a day watching pro wrestling. I’m not that person – unless it’s for a PPV or similar event where longer than an hour is justified. I consume wrestling content like I do any other TV show and nothing I watch on Netflix or cable clocks in at two or three hours a week per episode. Keeping it brief and leaving me wanting more is definitely better than leaving me wishing I could be doing something else while I’m watching the wrestling show.
No “Owner / Authority” Angles
I’m sure Tony Khan is a great guy – but it’d be cool if we never see him on the proposed AEW TV show. I get that Kenny Omega, Cody, Brandi, and the Bucks are all “management” and I’m good with them appearing on TV obviously. But, WWE has taken the “owner / authority figure” story and beaten it into a fine dust that I could care less about. I’m all about the way we’ve seen this handled so far with the “management” being more neutral figures. Case in point, the angle in the “Road to Double or Nothing” video where Brandi has a call with Britt Baker that leads to Baker getting booked in the triple threat match. Keep things this way. I’d be good if I never saw an “evil company man holds someone down” story again – it’s been done to death in the genre.
Let Organic Things Happen
I get the feeling AEW will be more keen to this than WWE. But, nothing is more frustrating than seeing people organically get over in WWE and Vince & Co. ignoring it or actively squashing it. It makes the fans feel like what they want to see from the show doesn’t matter. And, honestly, it’s not something that happens all of the time. When that lightning in a bottle happens, embrace it and build from it. AEW would be smart to roll someone random getting over into building a new major star for the promotion and not just ignore it or work against it because it wasn’t someone they already booked for a larger role.
I understand pro wrestling tradition and thus get why we have a Men’s “main championship”, Tag Championships, and a Women’s “main championship” in most promotions. I think it’d be novel if AEW introduces some less traditional titles as well.
- An “All In(clusive)” type of title where literally anyone under AEW contract could challenge for the title. It wouldn’t matter their gender, size, if they’re normally a tag specialist, etc. I realize “intergender” wrestling is a hot button issue, but I have faith that AEW could present it well in a scenario such as this.
- A title that is only defended in “open challenge” fashion. Even if a weekly AEW show somehow got stale, a champion that must defend a strap against surprise opponents would make for some suspense. It could also serve as a “go to” way to debut a new talent to the show.
- A title that is up for grabs 24/7. It wouldn’t necessarily have to be like the WWE Hardcore title, but just something that can change hands at ANY time. Imagine seeing a title switch in the background of an episode of “Being the Elite”!
More Than One Story For A Division
Here is something that WWE continually fails at in modern times. One thing I do like about the “Attitude Era” looking back is how nearly everyone on the roster had a story and thus a reason to be on the show. WWE typically falls into a trap where, say, there is only one women’s division story and it is always about the title. The same thing typically happens with their tag division. Storytelling is something that has always drawn me to wrestling, so a AEW show that has multiple storylines, even sometimes intersecting, would keep me coming back.
Don’t Rely Too Much On WWE / Impact / ROH Defections
Cody has already alluded to this a bit, which has me optimistic. But, I think one of the things that killed TNA when it was an upstart was that they leaned heavily on WWE cast offs. Of course, while strategic “gets” from WWE, Impact, ROH, etc. would definitely help AEW get some initial momentum going – I’m more interested in the talent that AEW will hire from the indies. While it would definitely be cool to see some old favorites from NXT that have gotten zilch from the main roster reinvent themselves on AEW TV, I just hope AEW doesn’t become a roster full of “used to be at WWE and were used poorly” talent.
So, again, just some ideas of things I’d be excited to see come from AEW in the future. I’ll be checking back in here on the site from time to time as we’re still a few months out from “Double or Nothing”. Until next time…