Following the success of All Elite Wrestling’s, Double or Nothing Pay-Per-View event, it’s time to look towards the near future and try to get a perception of what AEW’s weekly product will look like.
The following are five business decisions that are vital in order to make AEW’s product successful and moreover, make it feel different from their main competitor (WWE).
5: Modify The Modern Day Presentation of Authority Figures
The role of authority figures in wrestling is one that has always confused me to an extent. Not their role in terms of their job description, I get they need someone in kayfabe to rule and structure the show, however, in recent years, they have become a major focal point of the show.
For instance, several storylines over the past decade or so, have centred around a General Manager. What is the purpose of this? It doesn’t sell PPVs. Nobody is buying a Saturday live event ticket to see an authority figure (notwithstanding the fact that the General Manager role doesn’t extend to live events), yet casual viewers may not know that.
The most effective use of the GM position in recent years has come from the NXT and 205 Live brands. They use their respective GM’s as background characters – they are the authority, they make matches, they appear when they need to, they never negate from the show in any way shape or form.
Whatever AEW opts to do in relation to the authority figure, I suggest, they opt for a less is more approach. Maybe utilizing one of the established names such as Dean Malenko or Arn Anderson in the role (two names who people will take seriously as an authority figure), could be a smart move.
Another idea is simply presenting Tony Khan (AEW President) as the GM from an external venue. On the pilot episode, simply state that Khan is the authority, he makes the matches and that’s it.
I suspect there would be little complaints if this were the avenue AEW decide to take with their authority figure. This could be a really simple approach that allows valuable TV time to go into other avenues.