Despite early excitement about what All Elite Wrestling could be, it will take time to see the long-term impact of the promotion on the pro wrestling landscape.
In the short term we’re seeing how AEW has added a new perceived option for a viable full-time career in pro wrestling.
Going back a few weeks on Cageside Seats’ Bitter Boys Club podcast, Ethan Page discussed AEW’s impact for wrestlers:
“I don’t know if (wrestling news) gets any bigger. (It’s a chance) to make people a lot of money.
I’m going to tell you right now. (The money talk) is true. I heard a rumor, I’m not going to confirm anything and start some dirt sheet nonsense, but they’re definitely offering good money to people who would not normally make that money.
It’s staying power. The money will make guys stay. This is the exciting thing, when WCW came and started throwing money around, how many people left?
I’m excited. I’m locked in with Impact Wrestling, so that’s where you’re seeing me. But for wrestling in general, I’m excited about the landscape changing, opportunities for friends, more money, more openings on the indies for guys to fill that void.”
The option of a potentially viable option paying serious money for limited dates is an attractive option, especially when compared to the grind of WWE’s road schedule.
More and more wrestlers have been able to grind out full-time livings wrestling on the indies, which has been a boost for wrestling. And the powerhouse possibility of AEW only grows the opportunity for the best wrestlers to be fully committed to their craft.
We’re also seeing a change in expectations with the sudden talk of “wasted” WWE talent asking to be released from contracts to pursue other opportunities.
Landscape changes don’t have to be massive competitions for the top spot in the world. In fact, they’re far more likely to come from these shifts in possibilities and available opportunities to make a living outside the WWE Universe.
It’ll be a long time before the dust settles and we understand AEW’s place in history, but we are already starting to see what another viable option does to change things. Even before it gets off the ground.
Ok, that’s it for this week.