All Elite Wrestling just confirmed a major television and digital streaming deal with WarnerMedia:
— TNT Drama (@tntdrama) May 15, 2019
One of the major points outlined in the press release and continually touted during the lead up to this announcement is the new company’s sports-like presentation.
Wins and losses matter, it’s going to be less drama oriented it more comparable to a legitimate sport. Specifically, the press release said the following:
Focused on producing fast-paced, high-impact competitions, AEW Offers fans less scripted, soapy drama, and more athleticism and real sports analytics, bringing [a] legitimacy to wrestling that it has not previously had. Wrestlers will also be given more freedom to explore their characters and highlight their athletic abilities. Introducing statistics to wrestling for the first time ever, AEW will raise the stakes for its matches and deepen fan engagement by tracking each competitor’s wins and losses as the wrestlers pursue championships, analyzing their moves, assessing damage to their opponents, and providing insights into their winning streaks.
In a new interview with Variety, Cody Rhodes and Jim Ross talk about this sports-based presentation and the alternative that AEW is going to provide the wrestling industry.
Jim Ross is somebody who has been in the industry longer than most currently in the industry today. From Mid-South Wrestling to WCW, and many years is atop WWE, JR has seen it all.
In the interview, Jim outlined the target demographic for AEW as 18-34, potentially 18-49:
“It’s probably the youngest group of decision makers ever in the business and I think that’s a pretty good statement because they’re going to be able to relate to that 18-34 demographic and 18-49 demographic very favorably.”
JR also said that this new company will not be challenging WWE directly as WCW did rather just providing healthy competition to allow the entire industry to raise its game:
“Competition raises everybody’s game. It will raise the wrestlers’ game, the creative people’s game, everybody. Everybody feels a sense of urgency when someone is competing with them.
“Competitive means being profitable. It doesn’t mean, ‘We have to have this to beat the WWE.’ Our job is not to worry about what WWE is doing, not their TV clearances, not whose in the main event, nothing. With a growing company, there are a lot of growing pains. It’s a mix of creative and athletics and a lot of different things. Our focus has to be us, period.”
Cody really focused on the word alternative. The Elite has always been about providing a fresh perspective on professional wrestling and with this new partnership, more eyes than ever will have the capability to watch professional wrestling than in the last 20 years:
“The term people are using is ‘alternative.’ For many years throughout my youth and plenty of other fans’ youths, pro wrestling has been essentially just one company and that’s not really the case. I want to be the sports-centric alternative in the pro wrestling world and I think we’re on a good path to get there.”
In further detailing the sports-based presentation, Rhodes offered this explanation:
“One thing we really strongly want to present is wins and losses mattering again in pro wrestling. That takes more than the W and the L column. We’re talking about [the] percentage of times someone loses to this particular maneuver, percentages against somebody of this height, a whole by-the-numbers approach that really intrigues me. It’s not a cornerstone of AEW necessarily but it’s a great peripheral element we’re working on and that’s going to be exclusive to us.”
AEW will join TNT later this year. It’s certainly shaping up to be a big day for pro wrestling. How do you feel about this? Tell us in the comments below!