8 Things That Could Trigger AEW’s Downfall

Hypothetical doomsday scenarios for a wrestling promotion that almost certainly isn't going bust.

Cody Rhodes MJF WWE

All Elite Wrestling is not going out of business anytime soon.

Tony Khan's promotion has continually demonstrated strong year-over-year growth in key metrics since its inception, with overall upwards trends in television viewerships, pay-per-view buys, average event attendances, and more. That Dynamite routinely finishes amongst Wednesday's top-ranked cable shows bodes well for AEW when its next round of rights fee negotiations commences later this year, too. Currently earning around $45 million annually from its existing deal with Warner Bros. Discovery, objectively strong performances mean AEW is well-placed to land a significant increase.

Assessing the company's financial position is tricky. Unlike the publically-traded WWE, AEW is under no obligation to publish annual reports. Khan had previously stated that he expected AEW's wrestling operations to turn a profit by its second year, however. A rights fee increase would help in that regard.

So, no. AEW is not going out of business. The promotion is stable, growing, and continues to outperform pre-launch expectations. Forbidden Door just sold out in 40 minutes. Things are going well.

But it isn't failure-proof. While the scenarios within wouldn't wipe Tony Khan's wrestling project from the face of the Earth, a number materialising at once would cause the kind of problems the promotion has been navigating since day one.

If AEW can weather a global pandemic less than six months into Dynamite's life...

Senior Reporter
Senior Reporter

Andy has been with WhatCulture for six years and is currently WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A writer, presenter, and editor with 10+ years of experience in online media, he has been a sponge for all wrestling knowledge since playing an old Royal Rumble 1992 VHS to ruin in his childhood. Having previously worked for Bleacher Report, Andy specialises in short and long-form writing, video presenting, voiceover acting, and editing, all characterised by expert wrestling knowledge and commentary. Andy is as much a fan of 1985 Jim Crockett Promotions as he is present-day AEW and WWE - just don't make him choose between the two.