All Elite Wrestling rang in 2019 with ambitions of changing the world. While AEW has not achieved that lofty goal, they have succeeded in breathing new life into the industry, offering wrestling fans an energetic and creative product in the form of AEW Dynamite.
Despite, arguably, the best roster it's ever assembled, WWE's creative has stagnated, relying on part-time talent to play integral roles, bringing back Hall of Famers to try and pop a rating, or simply being unable to write stories that don't involve a championship. This has left Monday Night RAW and Friday Night SmackDown with lacklustre mid-cards and under-utilized talent. AEW has far less depth on its roster, yet has managed to be vastly more effective, creating a superior product than either of WWE's main roster shows.
AEW has created a promotion where wrestlers are both protected and given the opportunity to flourish, with the freedom to develop their own characters and promos. There have been blunders along the way - here's looking at you Dark Order - but on the whole, AEW has delivered a more consistent product. There is certainly an argument to be made that NXT has been more than enough competition for AEW on Wednesday nights. However, this article is only comparing AEW and WWE's main roster.
With so many jaw-dropping performers, it's never been a better time to be a wrestling fan, but not necessarily a WWE one. Maybe they could take some tips from AEW on how to use their talent.
5. A Lack Of Over Exposure
To close out 2019, Erick Rowan spent eight consecutive Monday nights walking down to the ring and squashing, either a local competitor or No Way Jose. The Law of Diminishing Returns has rendered this weekly segment as nothing more than a chance to remember how great Jim Carrey is whenever Vic Joseph yells about "The Claw".
In that same time span, Darby Allin has made four appearances on AEW Dynamite, wrestling in three matches, only one of which was a singles match. It would be a challenging task to find a wrestling fan who would argue that Rowan is a more intriguing or exciting performer than Allin.
WWE has the unenviable task of trying to fill seven hours of televised wrestling a week, but surely creative can come up with something better than having Rowan wrestle the same match, every RAW, for two months. How about crafting a women's feud not centred around romance or a title? Both the men's and women's tag- team divisions could use some focused storytelling to get back on track. The point is, when wrestlers have nothing to do and no story to tell, it can be beneficial to keep them off television.
While the women's division could still use some fleshing out, between Dynamite and Dark, AEW has been diligent about when to have its wrestlers appear on TV. AEW has shown patience and restraint, ensuring talent only appear on TV to develop a character and/or further a storyline.