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AEW Versus WWE: Can’t We Just Have (And Enjoy) Both?

It feels like a good time to be a wrestling fan, doesn’t? With a plethora of indie promotions, and a newly-established All Elite Wrestling (AEW), a lagging WWE has been working hard to “up their” sports entertainment game, and social media has been buzzing more than usual as of late when it comes to pro ‘rasslin’.

Here’s thing: I feel like now more than ever, instead of debates, negativity, harsh criticism and Twitter feuds, wrestling fans need to embrace this pivotal point in wrestling history, rather than compare and take sides. AEW has made some incredible strides in the short-term as a promotion, and I know I may sound a tad cheesy, but I feel like the American Dream is beaming down on Cody Rhodes and bursting with pride. After all, Rhodes has created quite a shake up, and with the very few events he’s unravelled, he also caused a stir.

But there is nothing I hate more than hearing things like, “the WWE is better” or “AEW is going to blow Vince’s company out of the water”; listen, healthy competition is good, there’s no doubt about that. And with AEW, as well as fans outcry, poor ratings, and all-around constructive feedback when it comes to TV and pay-per-view content, the WWE is clearly working out a viable strategy and redirection to embrace their loyal fans, draw new audiences to their brand, and bring back older viewers who once adored the company. Hiring Paul Heyman [15] and Eric Bischoff as Executive Directors of RAW [16] and SmackDown [17], respectively, is a very strong start, and I feel as if the WWE Universe has already felt the fingerprints of both men in these roles, in a very short time period.

But here’s an even better thought: why compare these promotions, when you can enjoy both? When did wrestling become a monopoly market with only one major company to choose from? When I was a little girl, watching pro wrestling with my brother, I remember viewing a plethora of programming, which only came on, on the weekends, and I’d get as equally excited as watching the WWE, as I did for NWA, or AWA. I rarely compared the promotions, but rather reveled in their distinctive nature. I also enjoyed when wrestlers jumped shipped to another company; the shock and excitement [22] was fun, and the shift in character these talents made was very entertaining. Each company brought a different feel, environment, and storylines.

My point is, more wrestling promotions mean more options, more entertainment, different storytelling, and it brings everyone’s game up a notch. More wrestling promotions means that the talent themselves don’t need to feel like it’s the WWE or indies; no, in between (and there really should be an in between option); they too, have more options. The idea of any company putting another company out of business turns my stomach, because at the end of the day this means job loss, not only for the “rich” higher ups, but also ever day executives, office staff, talent, crew, and backstage employees who work so hard to entertain us fans.

At the end of the day, I don’t care about a potential AEW versus WWE rivalry. I just want both, and more please [27].