The Definitive Beginner’s Guide to AEW

So you’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about AEW, but you haven’t yet had a chance to check out the fledgling promotion.

Not to worry! There’s still plenty of time to catch up on the latest happenings AEW before the jaded internet fans get tired of it and turn their collective attention toward an obscure Japanese promotion in which manga characters wrestle kaiju monsters.

To help you get up to speed, we have assembled this handy primer on all things AEW. Armed with this information, you can smark-out to your heart’s content in online wrestling forums with other guys (and possibly up to one female) who love hating wrestling.

aew press conference
Tito Jackson of the Young Guns hypes up ahh-EEE-wuh at a press conference.

What does AEW stand for? 

All Extreme Wrestling. The promotion was originally called All Eastern Wrestling, back when it was run by Tod Gordon, but changed to Extreme Championship Wrestling in the 1990s and 2000s (with its pinnacle coming in 2009, when Mark Henry became ECW Champion after defeating Kane and The Big Show). Former ECW promoter Paul E. Dangerously (nee Heyman) sold ECW to Cody Rhodes, who briefly changed the name to Extreme Eastern Wrestling (EEW), and then to AEW.

How do you pronounce AEW?


Who owns AEW?

Tony Khan, who is better known by his in-ring alter-ego, Killer Khan, a Mongolian monster who spewed green mist in the face of enemies. During his WWF heyday, Khan feuded with Hulk Hogan and, even more notably, Outback Jack. Khan is now preposterously wealthy, and is also a co-owner of the Jacksonville Pussycats, an XFL football team.

Who runs AEW? 

AEW is run by a group of popular professional wrestlers who built their reputations in WWE, on the independent scene, in Japan, and on social media platforms including MySpace and TOUT. They include:

  • Cody Rhodes, best known as the nephew of Fred “Shockmaster” Ottman and older brother of Dustin “Black Reign” Runnels, is Executive Vice President of the Fifth Dimension
  • The Young Bucks, Matt and Tito Jackson (who rose to fame as part of a family Motown group with brothers Marlon, Jermaine, and Michael), are the Executive Vice-Presidents of Superkickery.
  • Kenneth O’Megha, an Irish-Canadian best known for having wrestled Asuka when she was just nine years old,
  • Brandi Rhodes (no relation to Cody or Dustin), Deputy Regional Manager of Community Outreach Initiatives, Northwest Division

Who performs for AEW? 

The AEW roster is growing quickly and subject to change, but some of its biggest stars include:

  • Hangman Adam Bomb
  • John Cima
  • “Baby Boy” Joey Janela
  • Frankie “The Mobster” Kazarian
  • Kip Soppian
  • Pac (formerly X-Pac)
  • 2 Cold Scorpio Sky
  • Rey Pentagon Jr.
  • Ron Moxley (formerly “Seth Rollins” of WWE)

Is AEW real, or is it scripted like WWE? 

AEW fights are 100 percent real, and are banned in 42 states due to the extreme brutality.

What events has AEW held?

The first AEW event, Allin (named after legendary wrestler Bad News Allin) was held at a 90,000-seat arena in Chicago, and tickets sold out in a record 31.7 nanoseconds. The second event, Double Trouble, was the most-watched television event since the infamous OJ Simpson low-speed-chase through Los Angeles in a white Ford Bronco. The most recent event, Fyter Fest, was billed as a “luxury wrestling festival on a private island” featuring Ja Rule, but turned out to be a barren hellscape of disaster relief tents and hastily assembled cheese sandwiches.

Are AEW and WWE rivals? 

No. Behind the scenes, WWE honcho Vince McMahon controls AEW, as well as Impact Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling, Wall Street, the American judiciary system, the Illuminati, NASA, the White House, the United Nations, climate change, and 82.7 percent of the known universe.


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