All In is Being Handled All Wrong


The state of wrestling today is a very shaky one. We have WWE. It’s pretty much the one and only in terms of mainstream acceptance. There are two second tier companies (if they can even be considered that) which garner their sliver of attention in this increasingly struggling industry. So it’s rare that an opportunity presents itself like Cody and the Young Buck’s All In Event. This is a response to Dave Meltzer’s challenge to Cody to sell out a 10K seat venue here in the US, which is something ROH and TNA haven’t been able to accomplish in their best of days, with their best of stars that are now top stars in WWE. So Cody and the Young Bucks have decided they’re up for the challenge. It’s a great idea. Cody and the Bucks have tie-ins with many different indy promotions. Booking talent would never be an issue. The issue they’re going to have is, filling the stadium. And so far, All In is being handled All Wrong.

Sure, I can sit here and play keyboard wrestling booker. But that’s not what I’m doing here. As a man who has over twelve years of business management experience, eight of which are in marketing and digital advertising, I am going to give my take on how they can make this happen, and believe me, running a glorified indy all star event with a few NJPW and ROH talents thrown in there, isn’t going to accomplish that. Let’s look at it logically for a minute.

ROH has been around for over fifteen years, and last year, they sold out an event during WrestleMania weekend with 3,500 fans, which turned out to be their largest US audience for a single event in the company’s history. Fifteen years, and they could only pull 3,500 fans by piggy backing off WWE’s week long WrestleMania convention.

TNA was able to fair a little better than that, having pulled attendance figures in excess of 3,000 on several occasions, and recording their largest attendance figure by running a Lockdown PPV at the Alamodome in 2013, where, in a 60K seat arena they pulled in about 7K fans.

So as you can see, if you’re not WWE, it’s very difficult to run a wrestling show in the US and reach that five figure attendance mark. So how should they do it? I’m going to list three key factors that would be sure to work.

First, they obviously need to keep expenses down, which puts them at a disadvantage. Cody and the Young Bucks, while they probably do very well for themselves, do not have unlimited resources to be able to book all the top talents that aren’t under WWE contract. They’re only gonna get so many favors. They do need to come out of the pockets to score the kind of names that can help get fans into the Sears Centre. So solution one is, partner up with as many people as you can. This means everyone. Get in touch with Billy Corgan and have an NWA presence there. Get in touch with Anthem and have an Impact Wrestling presence there. Utilize these potential resources and have them help finance the marketing end of this. That’s what it’s all about, Marketing. They need to promote this event up and down, left and right, since three months ago. Everywhere you turn, you should be reading or hearing about the All In Event. Plus, the potential matches we can get out of such partnerships will be enough to garner the attention that’s needed.

Second, keep fans engaged to this event. I’m sorry but they’re not going to tweet their way to 10K fans. But, if they used some of the partnerships that I mentioned above, and worked storylines into this event that will culminate at All In, then obviously you’re going to get fans more invested. They should post videos every day on many of the online platforms that are available, pushing these stories and also doing short webisodes showing talent signings, negotiations, etc. Incorporate current storylines from several of the promotions like ROH, NJPW, and Impact. Remember, you’re pushing a special event, so you need to make this very special. And if you partner with Impact, you get TV exposure with 300K viewers each week, and a means to advertise and promote your event. That is a no-brainer.

Finally, get anybody who’s anybody that’s available, and make some dream matches happen. I’ve mentioned Eli Drake vs Kenny Omega. Who in the world wouldn’t want to see that? Someone mentioned in a comment a few weeks ago having the Young Bucks face LAX. Have the ROH champion, Dalton Castle face NWA champ, Nick Aldis. Have Cody face Austin Aries. Have an Ultimate X match with Matt Sydal, an NJPW guy, someone like Zack Sabre, Petey Williams, an ROH guy, an NWA guy, etc. There are so many things you can do here. So many names that can be used and so many dream matches that usually people only read about that take place at an indy event in front of 200 people in a gymnasium somewhere. If you want to go All In, you gotta go big, or go home.

So that’s my three point plan for Cody and the Young Bucks to truly make this a successful event. There’s no one company that is going to pull that kind of attendance in the US, but collectively, they can. And I hope they do before it’s too late.

Thanks for reading everyone. Let’s hear your thoughts on this All In event. Do you think it’s being handled correctly?

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