All Elite Wrestling is here. Considering who has already been confirmed to be working with this brand new promotion, it’s hard to believe that this isn’t just some dirt sheet rumour blown out of proportion. But believe me, it’s real, and these are the ten biggest positives that we already know about it.
Chris Jericho is one of the most consistently creative, diverse and innovative wrestlers in history, performing at a high level for nearly three decades now, constantly thinking of new ideas and ways to grab headlines. As we saw with his most recent run in New Japan Pro Wrestling, Jericho is still a great in-ring performer with a knack for getting people talking.
The prospect of somebody like that applying their knowledge to a promotion is extremely exciting.
We’ve seen how Jericho has managed to always create new ideas, characters and come up with new ways to shock people, yet he’s only been applying these ideas to himself. Imagine what he could do with a full roster to collaborate and share his creativity with. For his name value and his array of talents, as both a creative acquisition and an in-ring performer, Chris Jericho is the biggest signee AEW could have hoped for.
Just think: if Jericho is willing to go against his promise of not working for any non-WWE company on American soil for this project, it’s fair to say All Elite Wrestling must be something special.
In 2018, clips from a brand new promotion’s first ever show went viral when a group of unknown rookies were pulling off feats of athleticism never really seen in a wrestling ring before. This promotion was Oriental Wrestling Entertainment: a company started by CIMA, one of the greatest competitors in Dragon Gate history, and responsible for helping to train many of the biggest stars in the world today, including The Young Bucks.
What made OWE standout from other budding companies, other than the rarity of it being a Chinese wrestling promotion, as well as its impressive production values, was the talent it has, many of whom were former monks that had no previous knowledge of what pro wrestling even was. CIMA showed these unbelievable athletes the ropes, and in a staggeringly quick amount of time, they were innovating brand new moves and leaping one-footed from the ring apron into the ring.
With an array of ever-improving talents that are nowhere close to hitting their full potential, and such a big stage to display them on, All Elite Wrestling will be a fantastic worldwide stage for these Chinese talents to display what they can do. And based on what we’ve already seen from them, it’s fair to say we as fans are going to be treated to some truly insane pro wrestling.
A Launching Pad for Talent
Arguably, the greatest thing to come from All In though was not the night itself, but the consequential impact it has had on the careers of many stars:
- Marko Stunt was plucked from almost obscurity prior to All In. After an impressive showing at Joey Janela’s Lost in NY show in the summer, Marko was announced for the Over the Budget Battle Royal the following day, experiencing a sudden surge in popularity. Prior to that weekend, Marko had less than 1,000 Twitter followers – now, although he sadly is injured currently, Marko now has over 6,000 followers, has competed in PWG’s BOLA tournament, and has been featured on shows across the US.
- Although she was already popular, Jordynne Grace was introduced to many thanks to All In, and is remembered for hoisting the behemoth Brian Cage on her shoulders during the Over the Budget Battle Royal. Since All In, Jordynne Grace has been wrestling a hectic schedule, and was recently signed by IMPACT Wrestling. Jordynne herself told me that her appearance at All In completely changed her career (I promise I’ll post that interview soon).
- Bandido went from little notoriety with most Western fans to competing in PWG’s BOLA, holding the PROGRESS Tag Team Championships with Flamita, and wrestling in the main event of one of the biggest shows of the year.
- Joey Ryan came back to life.
- Joey Janela was given the chance to show his ability and potential as a major star on a much bigger stage, which hopefully he’ll be able to demonstrate more of once returning from injury.
- Penelope Ford was given a chance to show off her insane athleticism and ability. Despite not even having her own match, Penelope got thousands of people talking about her, which has led to an increase in demand for her at independent shows across the US.
Now they are running their own promotion, surrounded by impressive levels of hype from fans and media alike, and a selection of younger, up-and-coming talents already signed to its roster, it’s clear that All Elite Wrestling will be a massive opportunity for many performers to shine on a worldwide stage, launching their careers into a whole new level.
As announced by Brandi Rhodes during the All Elite Rally, male and female talents will be paid equally in their company – no exception. For obvious reasons, this is absolutely fantastic news. By making announcements such as these publicly, other companies will be pressured to follow suit, meaning more benefits for female talents across the industry. It still remains to be seen how women performers will actually be used creatively in All Elite, yet this is a very promising start.
For having PAC show up to a press conference half naked in his ring gear in the middle of the day whilst everyone else was in suits and announce he’s signed to them, AEW is already the greatest company in the world, wrestling or otherwise. To be fair though, I’m not even sure he owns clothes other than his ring gear at the moment given how much he loves to show off that insane physique, plus we shouldn’t really expect a Geordie to wear a jacket in January.
Joking aside, PAC is one of the most sort-after independent talents in the world. Somebody with his popularity, in-ring talent and promo ability will bring much excitement to All Elite, especially if he gets the opportunity to mix it up with the OWE talents. The BASTARD showed up at the AEW Rally, Open the Dream Gate Championship in hand, looking like he’s ready for a fight, and I for one cannot wait to see him have one on such a big stage.
If All Elite Wrestling continue to sign talents as exciting as this, their roster will be utterly stacked.
Whether you like them or not, there’s no denying that The Elite are currently the most popular group in pro wrestling today. Filled with talent and highly dedicated performers, we’ve seen both in the ring and with their YouTube show Being the Elite how much commitment and passion these performers have for their craft. With them involved, plenty of people will automatically want to check AEW out, and will hopefully become fans of many other members of their roster too along the way.
We love a bit of pyro, and with one press conference alone, All Elite Wrestling pretty much matched the annual pyro budget of WWE. It’s a small detail, but if they commit to adding smaller details like pyro and unique set designs to their shows, like we saw at All In, then it will bring something many of us are nostalgic for back that we haven’t seen much of in recent years.
Obviously, the biggest clue of what we can expect from an All Elite Wrestling show is of course All In. This 2018 indie supershow was a triumph for fans and pro wrestling alike.
All In was one of the best top-to-bottom shows of the year, offering something for various types of wrestling fan. Filled with star-making moments, inflatable penises, a cute dog, Jericho shenanigans, and a whole load of brilliant pro wrestling, All In was a celebration of the thriving scene outside of WWE. If All Elite Wrestling can put on shows of this quality, and most importantly this level of fun, on a regular basis, it will be essential viewing for me.
Double or Nothing
It may be over four months away, but the first All Elite Wrestling show has been announced: Double or Nothing. With over 17,000 capacity, far more funding, even more talent, and several months to build up hype for the event, Double or Nothing will most likely be an improved successor to All In, acting as a delicious taste for what we have to come.
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the Khan family have quite a bit of money. In fact, they’re billionaires, which isn’t exactly a bad thing when starting a new company. What’s more, turns out Tony Khan is a gigantic wrestling fan – he has in the past sent reviews of WWE shows he’s attended to Dave Meltzer, and recently on the Edge And Christian podcast, the latter shared a story of a dinner he had with Tony where the billionaire could recall the tiniest of details about matches he couldn’t even remember having.
When a billionaire is essentially funding his own hobby, something he has massive respect and knowledge for, it can only benefit everyone involved. From fairer, heftier paychecks to bigger production values and major shows around the world, the prospect of what they can do with the funds they have at their disposal is staggering.
We’re not far into 2019, but if this is how crazy things are already, we’re probably going to have an insane year for pro wrestling.
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