AEW Will Always Be #2 In Wrestling, Unless...

Amidst WWE breaking more records, what, if anything, could AEW to make the next giant leap forward?

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WWE is Number One!

You'd be fooled for thinking otherwise if a) you logged on following Elimination Chamber 2023 and saw the divisive response to the Roman Reigns/Sami Zayn match or b) you watched the show regularly between 2002-2022, but conversation's worst enemy, data, has come through yet again to fly the flag for Stamford.

Between Triple H reporting that Elimination Chamber 2023 drew WWE's biggest ever gate in Montreal, Google trends positioning engagement in Saturday's Premium Live Event as that of a traditional Big Four, and the unrelentingly high SmackDown ratings over the last few months, it's easy to see why those within WWE will be feeling extremely positive on the closing stretch towards WrestleMania.

A WrestleMania that - if the company is to be believed - is already also the highest-grossing ever. Using Royal Rumble Peacock viewing figures as a guide, it'll likely have a confirmed viewer base of over two million viewers too. Honestly, it's not even that tricky to find and gather this data to form an argument. Attendance figures and the like have always been massaged and that shows no sign of changing, but some of the shoot ones are good enough to report as is. And going back to TV numbers, Brandon Thurston's excellent tweets usually find WWE to be in good health and even confirm that circus-like developmental NXT actually made (small) gains last year.

But to stop short of this reading like an Ariel Helwani press release, all this information matters most if a company's financials dictate the quality of the product. In WWE, it categorically doesn't, and while the fiscals can be a measure of how much the product is connecting, the brand still has a long way to go before it recovers longstanding wrestling fans deadened by Vince McMahon's wretched monopoly-era complacency.

It doesn't take mining through facts and figures to know there are lots of them out there. The mere existence of AEW is the single piece of data that confirms this to be true.


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We Need To Talk About Kevin (Nash). Michael can be found in articles or on podcasts extolling the virtues of New Generation WWF, new AEW storylines or the new WWE push they definitely definitely won’t ruin this time.