How AEW Saved (And RUINED) Wrestling

All Elite Wrestling: the cause of and solution to so many wrestling problems.

Vince McMahon

All Elite Wrestling is ultimately a force for good in the pro wrestling industry.

AEW's brilliance - the brilliance that it somehow conspires to capture most weeks in at least one segment of Dynamite - has been normalised. Perspective is needed as a result. To underscore just how important AEW is to the North American scene, the dark ages must be illuminated once more.

In 2018, WWE was so oppressively bad and flat that the McMahon family had to apologise for how bad it was by the end of the year, and in that exact same segment, his pathetic ego wounded by a smattering of boos, Vince McMahon put the red pen through his own apology. If there was ever a show that didn't need a last-minute rewrite, it was the one that promised a new and more focused direction, for f*ck's sake.

The idea was for Vince to show contrition. He couldn't even do that. At the merest hint of a "What?" chant, Vince, after saying "I can't do this all by myself anymore, that's for sure" turned to the crowd. His back was up. "I can do it without you guys, though," he said.

He put himself and Raw over in the same promo, of course. Stephanie McMahon had to be the one to say "We haven't been doing a very good job for you guys lately," even though she had no influence over the direction of the company. The man who tasked himself with change changed his mind in a matter of seconds. He had a little tantrum and proved himself an inveterate liar and narcissist.

And of course, WWE didn't change. 2019 was even worse than 2018. Vince McMahon didn't so much insult your intelligence as book shows under the belief that you literally didn't have a brain capable of functioning memory. The same old sh*t reeked with a stale odour; it wasn't even pungent anymore, just foul in a distant but permanent way that couldn't be shaken.

AEW Dynamite launched on October 2, 2019.

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Michael Sidgwick is an editor, writer and podcaster for WhatCulture Wrestling. With over seven years of experience in wrestling analysis, Michael was published in the influential institution that was Power Slam magazine, and specialises in providing insights into All Elite Wrestling - so much so that he wrote a book about the subject. You can order Becoming All Elite: The Rise Of AEW on Amazon. Possessing a deep knowledge also of WWE, WCW, ECW and New Japan Pro Wrestling, Michael’s work has been publicly praised by former AEW World Champion Kenny Omega, present AEW World Champion MJF, and surefire Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Cody Rhodes. When he isn’t putting your finger on why things are the way they are in the endlessly fascinating world of professional wrestling, Michael wraps his own around a hand grinder to explore the world of specialty coffee. Follow Michael on X (formerly known as Twitter) @MSidgwick for more!