Between the hype surrounding Double or Nothing, the plans to be a full-time touring brand and a rumored television deal with Turner Broadcasting, All Elite Wrestling has shown the potential to become a rising wrestling promotion in the near future. But, as has been the case with every major wrestling company since the end of the "Monday Night Wars," the comparisons between AEW and the defunct WCW have already begun online. That line of thinking was accelerated last week when news broke that Cody Rhodes had applied for the trademark for numerous WCW concepts, including their summer-themed pay-per-view Bash at the Beach.
But in a new interview with POST Wrestling this week, Kenny Omega explained how AEW won't fall into the same traps that led to WCW's downfall, mostly because they're not looking to compete with the much-larger WWE.
"The difference between (AEW) and WCW is that, we're not looking to compete with WWE," Omega said. "At least, a big handful of us aren't. Other people might have their own motivations or whatever, but for us, we're very focused on becoming a wrestling alternative. In today's world, with digital streaming services, they're going to watch everything anyway. I want people to enjoy their product if that's what they're into. I'm never going to try to do something to undermine what they do. I'm never going to try to do something and say, 'Hey, this is a different take on what you did, except we did it better.' We want to present something completely new and different. We even want to tap into a different demographic.
"I've always been interested in the non-fan," he continued. "For me, I'm trying to attract your average Joe or Jill and have them watch a match or performance. I hope that we're not bound to being a wrestling show. We want to be a variety show that has wrestling on it and be universally entertaining for everyone."
After being bought by Ted Turner in 1988, WCW managed to overthrow the WWF as the top-rated wrestling product in the country when WCW Monday Nitro defeated Monday Night Raw for 83 consecutive weeks in television ratings from June 1996-April 1998. However a long line of poor booking decisions, a decrease in popularity and AOL's merger with Time Warner and subsequent decision to drop the company from its television networks resulted in the company being bought by the WWE in 2001.
AEW's first event, Double or Nothing, will take place on May 25 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.2comments