How AEW Just Took Fan Service Too Far

In which AEW must Do The Work.

Cody Dynamite
Lee South/AEW

AEW in 2020 is a tremendous pro wrestling promotion that inspires fervent praise from its audience, not least because that audience feels like an active participant - an influence, even. It feels to those fans like their critique has shaped the trajectory of the product.

"We listen..." Cody himself said, in his seminal Full Gear go-home promo. He wasn't bullsh*tting the people he was selling his pay-per-view match to.

AEW listened to various, justified complaints to embark on what was, before the world went to sh*t, an all-time great run of episodic wrestling television: Kenny Omega's grasp of details-heavy bangers operated within and advanced the TV match genre; Hangman Page got over in those same, excellent matches and with his distinct, offbeat comedy; the inspired booking was paced immaculately to reach a crescendo at the precise time at which the company asked for your money.

None of this would have happened, had AEW not listened to complaints over excessive, blanket match durations, the lack of promos and vignettes, the powerfully bad act that was the Nightmare Collective, the failure to project the Elite to the masses.

AEW empowers its audience. This might not be a uniformly brilliant thing, as it turns out.

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Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on!