This past week, we saw the beginning of a new era. For the first time since 2001, professional wrestling returned to TNT on this past Wednesday, with the premiere of All Elite Wrestling: Wednesday Night Dynamite.
This time last year, the biggest indie pay-per-view was just passed in Chicago, which was called “All In.” “All In” was a culmination of all the biggest indie wrestling stars, and that is what began the path to the creation of All Elite Wrestling (AEW). AEW was then officially filed as a trademark in November 2018 in Jacksonville, FL by several known indie wrestling stars such as “The American Nightmare” Cody, the Young Bucks, Matt and Nick Jackson, and Kenny Omega. Not only that, but it gained ground when it was officially announced at midnight pacific time on Jan. 1 this year. It was also announced that AEW hired Tony Khan as the president, with his father Shahid “Shad” Khan, owner of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars backing it.
They have since held their first press conference on Jan. 8, where they proceeded to unveil several big-name talents, such as PAC, Chris Jericho, Joey Janela and “Hangman” Adam Page. With all of these big-name indie talents signing, the wrestling fans around the world were starting to realize what was happening. AEW was rising in the ranks of pro-wrestling, and it began to garner the attention of the company who monopolized the industry 20 years ago, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
As the months passed, AEW broke through the ranks, securing a British TV deal with ITV and holding their first official pay-per-view, “Double-or-Nothing.” “Double-or-Nothing” ended up selling out the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada which only brought more attention upon the upstart company. As the summer went on, AEW held several other pay-per-view events called “Fyter Fest,” “Fight for the Fallen” and “All Out.” All three were sellout shows, with AEW quickly picking up steam as they headed for their TV debut in October. As the time came, wrestling fans all around the world rejoiced.
Overall, it was a fantastic night for wrestling fans new and old from all over the world.
This past week was the premiere of Wednesday Night Dynamite, and it was in the fan-proclaimed “Wednesday Night Wars” with WWE’s brand NXT, who broadcasted at the same time as AEW on USA Network. It ended up edging out NXT in the ratings for its debut show, and ultimately hit the biggest surprise of the night, with undefeated Bellator MMA fighter Jake Hager making a huge impact by attacking the “Elite” Stable of Cody and The Young Bucks, causing a crazy night to end on an even wilder note. The other matches of the night consisted of Cody versus Sammy Guevara, Maxwell Jacob Friedman versus Brandon Cutler, which was the shortest match of the night, and PAC vs. “Hangman” Page.
There was also an AEW Women’s Championship bout between veterans RIHO and Nyla Rose, which saw RIHO overcoming the odds and becoming the first AEW Women’s Champion. Lastly, the main event consisted of the “Elite” Stable against AEW world champion Chris Jericho, as well as the team of Santana and Ortiz. This was the show stealer of the night thanks to Jon Moxley’s return from injury, as well as Jake Hager’s debut. Overall, it was a fantastic night for wrestling fans new and old from all over the world, and that is why you should give AEW a shot; if you are looking for that “old school feel,” then AEW will give you just that.
Jeff Babcock is a third-year student majoring in communications. JB884128@wcupa.edu