By Ryan K. Boman, Editor in Chief
“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”
As we continue to roll into 2019, there’s a lot to sink your teeth in to, in terms of professional wrestling. Just looking across the landscape, we’ve got a re-building Ring of Honor, a re-tooling Impact, and a re-emerging MLW. The women’s scene has never been hotter, and NXT continues to be revolutionary.
Despite some major defections, it appears that New Japan will continue its great match quality throughout this year and beyond. At the same time, there’s also the recent promise by WWE that they are determined to make their own product better.
There’s a literal smorgasbord of sports and entertainment out there, just waiting to be consumed.
And then, there’s AEW – This Month’s Special.
Announced on January 1st, All Elite Wrestling has been the toast of the industry – and for good reason. The names and money involved are incredibly tantalizing, and the group’s cult following is already clamoring for a new-age version of the ‘Monday Night Wars’ era.
At the same time, there’s also been a bit of backlash directed at the new promotion ALREADY, before they’ve even run a show. Apparently, some folks aren’t too happy with all the hysteria.
While the prospect of a major promotion – funded by a billionaire – should have the fans mouths watering, some have pushed back from the table. Many armchair experts have already put on their critic’s hat, and started searching for cracks in the china.
I guess I don’t understand the negativity. There’s nothing wrong with constructive criticism, but some folks have really started grasping at straws on this one. It’s okay to be skeptical. But at the same time, we all need to recognize that none of us really knows what’s going to happen with the All Elite project. Because quite frankly, we’ve never really had a taste of anything like this before.
But, that hasn’t stopped the consumers from already questioning the menu, even before the place mats have been ordered. Everything from – who’s going to book the company, to what network it’s going to be on – seems to be in the expert parameter of every observer in the universe right now.
I’ve even seen some fans online questioning AEW’s ‘corporate structure’… and then lay out intensely, elaborate arguments about their imminent failure; As if they actually know what they’re talking about.
Think about that: The Khans are ungodly rich, and deal in the kind of money that most of us can’t fathom. They already own two major sports franchises. Yet suddenly, some random dude in North Dakota thinks he knows more about business and economics than they do. Simply because he’s trying to play devil’s advocate.
This is a lot like the guy who insists that, no matter how good this meal is??… he’s had one better.
These self-appointed experts say things like, “I know I’ve never been in the ring. And I’ve never been a promoter… But I’ve also never been a chef, and I still know what a good steak tastes like”.
That may be true. But I’d also bet that you’ve never gone in to a kitchen when your meal was being prepared, and told the chef how to season it. That would be ridiculous. But, it’s what we, as fans, do all the time.
Now, AEW is the new restaurant in town that everyone is raving about. And the fast food crowd hasn’t quite caught on yet.
While a faction of the audience continues to watch WWE – week after week – just to complain about it, they also seem unwilling to embrace any form of change. About a week later, they inexplicably return for more and repeat the same, stomach-churning process.
So, the opportunity to order from a different kind of menu should be appealing. It should put a little bit of spice back in our lives. AEW just adds some more flavor to something that we’ve been waiting for… a literal buffet of wrestling excellence.
And yet, there are some fans who still aren’t convinced.
They choose to turn up their noses, even to the most enticing aromas around them. They fold their arms, scrunch up their faces, and shake their heads. No matter how delicious the prospect of a whole new era of wrestling may be, they just refuse to ‘try something new’.
As someone who is truly hoping we are heading for a change, I’m the exact opposite. I’m tired of Spaghetti-O’s; Now, I want steak. I want AEW to succeed, because I want a taste of everything in my wrestling experience.
Right now, All Elite Wrestling is on a slow burn. As the company takes shape, the rumors continue to swirl and talk will simmer. Their fans will continue to get hungrier, while the dissenters try to throw salt on every story.
And in the process, the hype and hysteria surrounding AEW will only get hotter.
Because as we all know, a good meal takes time.