If you a wrestling fan on the internet, you will have read the following words. You might have said the following words. In any event, you cannot escape these words:
“[X] is biased towards AEW!”
I get this in comments section all the live long bastard day, but it’s nothing compared to the bile spewed at the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer on Twitter. There is a necessary conversation to hold here. Meltzer is on friendly terms with members of the Elite faction (though this is true of WWE’s roster, too). AEW was in its formative stage prior to last year’s ALL In event, but Dave Meltzer’s infamous “Not anytime soon” tweet—and the bet Cody took him on—accelerated everything. Meltzer has even appeared as a talking head to discuss the origin story in AEW canon.
AEW have opened themselves up to the accusation by promoting post-show media scrums. The suspicious amongst us believe that AEW is attempting to either co-opt the wrestling media outright, or gently win them over by opening a line of communication WWE does not—the effect of which is flattered, favourable coverage.
And AEW have received favourable coverage, which only strengthens the resolve of those who deem it unfair. AEW has received favourable coverage because it has—so far—effectively created over stars and compelling, logical storylines.
Cody receives a hero’s welcome on every episode of Dynamite. Chris Jericho receives a mixed star reaction, in that he can orchestrate jeers, but his comedic instincts see him cheered. MJF was received as a mega-heel on this week’s show.
The storytelling largely makes sense, and is driven by the motivations and styles of the the wrestlers in such a way that puts them over as pro wrestlers—and not performers following a script that is barely germane to pro wrestling.