SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
I’m what you might call a Lapsed Wrestling fan. I watched a lot during the mid-’90s until the early-2000s. I had a brief resurgence in 2008-2010 when I got into TNA (it was around the time they did a few house shows/tours over here in the UK). I have the WWE Network purely to re-watch this period of wrestling. I would occasionally watch the odd Royal Rumble or WrestleMania, but never followed it week to week. I thought I was destined to not find a spark for “modern” wrestling, that was until 2019.
I had heard a bit about AEW before Double or Nothing and took a gamble on ordering the PPV. I was impressed with what I saw and it felt like this was an opportunity to give wrestling another go. I watched their standalone events throughout the summer and stayed with it through their TV debut.
At this time I had seen a lot of hype for NXT, so when the “Wednesday Night War” started, I gave both shows a go. NXT’s in-ring work felt so much more refined. NXT has some fantastic talent over there for sure, but I could never watch an entire episode in one sitting. Compare that to AEW, and I have always wanted to see an episode from start to finish. I think NXT is a step above AEW in terms of in-ring performance, but I am drawn to AEW constantly. It might be the big things like Chris Jericho being a part of it or Jon Moxley’s promo or Cody’s promo. But also it might be the smaller things like the historic references to wrestling of yesteryear, hearing Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone, the fact that AEW is its own company and not just a brand from a bigger machine, the stakes feel higher.
In all honesty, I think it is just a combination of everything. They have strengths, they have weaknesses, but they have created a product that is very appealing to me and is now part of my weekly entertainment and sports cycle. I’m 31, I never thought I’d be anything other than “a lapsed wrestling fan,” but I am All In (pardon the pun) with AEW for now. It is a shame to have to choose, but I know I will get burnt out if I watch too much wrestling, so the smart choice was to see what I liked and go with them for now.
Do you know what the great thing is, though? Fans have a choice. It feels like it has been so long that the only option for fans was the Red & Blue of WWE. NXT is fantastic, fans of that are in for a real treat. NWA Power has come along offering another take on wrestling that will appeal to another set of fans. Japanese wrestling continues to thrive, the indys are still going strong. Fantastic for all.
I am loving the choice and loving the fact that there is good quality content for fans.
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