10 Biggest AEW Creative Mistakes

Santana and Cody Rhodes expose AEW's few failings...

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There are several, almost countless examples one can draw from to illustrate the fact that the following list is comprised of aberrations. Generally, despite an uneven 2022, All Elite Wrestling is a euphorically apt name for the promotion.

The best example that isn't Kenny Omega Vs. Hangman Page nor CM Punk Vs. MJF is in AEW's expert promotion of the Sting character.

With no hyperbole whatsoever, "expert" is the wrong word.

"Magic" is the word.

Sting is 63 years old. Under the immortalising paint, ingenious smoke and mirrors match layouts, and the demented, life-affirming high spots in which it is revealed that Sting doesn't always need the help, he is able to perform, somehow, as an ageless version of himself. The sheer thought and creativity that goes into booking Sting with such reverence is incredible.

Contrast the positioning of Sting as a living legend with WWE's portrayal of Rey Mysterio and any argument that the promotions are in any way comparable becomes asinine. It would be nice if WWE was Elite, but it simply isn't. So much is just...there, and doesn't feel as remotely vital as AEW.

Doesn't always feel vital, however...

10. The Wingmen

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Fans have to organically connect with a certain act.

They had to be charmed into embracing, for example, John Silver's exaggerated hyperactive teenager. They warmed to him following a series of Being The Elite skits in which Silver was repeatedly caught being a buffoon by Mr. Brodie Lee. Had Silver suddenly turned up on Dynamite flexing his muscles and grinning like a daft, incorrigible tw*t, it would have reeked of off-putting desperation.

Enter the Wingmen: AEW's ill-advised and mercifully brief attempt at forcing a meme onto its audience in the summer of 2021.

That isn't how memes work, and their antics, like giving Orange Cassidy a mid-match makeover, felt like a frantic attempt to engineer that which takes on a life of its own. It was just too wacky for its own good, and because nobody got in on the joke first, the punchlines didn't land. At all. Even as a frivolous undercard act, the Wingmen failed dismally. There was no catharsis in watching them get their asses handed to them because they were too busy getting their own self-indulgence in than anything else.

Nothing spoiled - they barely ate up any TV time in an otherwise great period for the company - except something was, because JD Drake is a super-worker who has (or had) the potential to make the established stars look awesome in defeat.

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Writer, podcaster and editor. Deft Punk. Author of Becoming All Elite: The Rise of AEW, which is available to purchase at the following link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Becoming-All-Elite-powerful-Wrestling/dp/B09MYSNT71