Wednesday nights are my favorite night of the workweek, and that is because two of the best wrestling shows in the business are on. NXT and AEW are consistently putting out stellar content week after week, but that doesn't mean that they are totally infallible. This week I will be looking at both NXT and AEW and being brutally honest. It is time for me to remove my rose-colored glasses and talk about the worst parts of the Wednesday Night War, but don't worry, next week, we will be talking about what they are doing right.
It is time to look at All Elite Wrestling, the relative newcomer to the wrestling business is swiftly becoming a fan favorite show/promotion, but that doesn't mean that there isn't room for improvement. Here are 5 things that AEW is doing wrong and how I think they can fix it.
5. Massive Tag Matches
If you follow AEW regularly, you know exactly what I am talking about. It seems like at least once a month, the promotion puts on tag team action featuring anywhere from 8 to 14 men in the ring, and I get it huge multi-person matches can be exciting and show off the talent that doesn't normally get to be on tv every week. The issue here is that most of these matches devolve into a mix of general chaos and pre-planned spots.
Now, my solution wouldn't be to get rid of these big matches altogether, but rather just give them a rest for a couple of months. If we have some time away from these huge tag matches, they will start to seem like a big deal when they come back. So, Tony Khan, if you're reading this, let's stick to regular tag team or 6-man tag matches just for a few months.
4. Lack of Short-Term Direction
Many AEW fans praise the promotion for long-term booking, and they are right to do so. The Kenny Omega and Hangman Page story took a long time to happen, but the downfall of their team was an excellent story. The issue that AEW seems to have sometimes is that they get so caught up with where they will be six to eight months down the line that they don't have a plan for 3 weeks from now. Darby Allin's reign as TNT Champion is a fantastic example of this, it is clear that AEW has a plan for when they want to take the belt off of him, but until they get to that point, he has just floated around. Cody Rhodes on again off again feud with Shaq is another great example of this. Clearly, it will come to a head at some point, but they don't know what to do about it in the meantime.
AEW needs to recognize this problem and start booking, knowing that they have to fill the gaps between pay per views and special events with regular weekly content. Long-term booking is awesome, but you need to have a short-term direction to keep your audience interested.
3. Title Scene Is Too Empty
Last week, I ran an article wondering who should take the AEW World Championship off of Kenny Omega. That article wasn't particularly hard to write, because there really weren't any surprising names that I could put on the list. AEW has a vast amount of talent that they can pull from, but it really feels like there are less than a dozen guys who could feasibly sit at the top of the card.
While I love guys like Moxley, Page, and Jericho, it really doesn't feel like AEW has built anyone up to that level quite yet. I totally expect Kenny to have a long reign as AEW Champion, so they have time to build new stars, but until they get to that point, it won't take Omega long to run through my entire list, as well as a few upper mid-card talents.
3. Women's Division
I'm sure some AEW fans are tired of hearing this, but the women's division needs a lot of help. The issue isn't a lack of talent. The issue is a lack of booking. Last summer, the women's tag team tournament was relegated to its own YouTube show, when it should've been a part of at the very least Dark if not Dynamite. At pay per views the women's title is often relegated to cool down matches after bigger men's events.
AEW needs to start giving more time and prominence to the women's division. It is just disappointing to see how far behind AEW is compared to their competition in this area. I could rant about this for a while, but I think it has been talked about enough in other places. AEW should do better, and they have actively chosen not to.
1. Too Crowded Of A Roster
I am not saying that everyone who is signed to AEW needs the same amount of screen time as the top guys in the company, but there is so much talent on the roster that it seems like guys who have the potential to be huge stars don't get the kind of time that they might get other places. Guys like Scorpio Sky, Matt Sydal, and Shawn Spears could be top guys in other companies, but in AEW, they end up relegated to Dark with only the occasional appearance on Dynamite.
Miro was supposed to be a huge signing for AEW, but he has only wrestled a handful of matches since his surprise appearance last summer. As I said, I don't expect everyone to get the same amount of time as Cody and The Young Bucks, but at a certain point, it crosses over from a deep roster into hoarding talent.
So there we have 5 things that AEW is doing wrong. If you're worried that I am too negative this week, please come back and see what they are doing right. In the meantime, feel free to follow me on Twitter and talk to me about wrestling there @robbydeshazer
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