There is reportedly “a lot of negativity” in and around All Elite Wrestling (AEW) right now regarding the “feeling” of the company.
“Restoring the feeling” of AEW is something that’s been said by some talents in storylines recently, but it’s a very real situation backstage.
With attendance and ratings numbers dropping, and a recent backstage firing, the negative feeling continues to be an issue.
Dave Meltzer has explored how this is impacting those “in and around” AEW on Wrestling Observer Radio, saying:
“They’re grossing a lot of money. It’s interesting because today I’ve gotten so much feedback from people in and around AEW, and it’s a lot of negativity right now.
“And I think some of that stems from the show Saturday night obviously was a very poor crowd. It’s interesting because there’s a lot of negativity while at the same time the company’s grossing more money by far than it ever has, the last couple of months. It’s been very, very successful in that sense. As far as turning profit, that’s a very different story. And as far as the value of the company… there’s economic aspects of the company that look really good, but there’s still this feeling (of negativity).
“Understandably in wrestling it’s always ‘who’s number one’, and they are far from number one right now. They were a lot more competitive in things like television ratings and attendance and things like that 18 months ago than they are now.
“So it’s kind of just a really interesting thing where you’ve got a negative perception. Which usually comes when the economics are bad, but the economics are not bad right now… but they’re still worrisome right now in the sense that when you look at the future and you look at the upcoming shows – you don’t see shows that look like you’re gonna be drawing big crowds in too many places.
“Economically they’re doing much better than they were at that time (when they were competitive with WWE in ratings/attendance). But, the perception is that they’re not because the live shows (attendance) feed a lot of the perception, and the ratings do, because they’re the two numbers that people look at.”
Things aren’t looking up for Tony Khan’s management of AEW after it was revealed head of post-production Kevin Sullivan had been let go.
Dave Meltzer would look at the reaction to Sullivan’s departure in more detail, stating:
“There’s a lot of people that were not happy about this today, which is also one of the reasons I think why there’s a lot of… all day hearing negativity, is because of this one because he’s been there from the start, and there’s this feeling that the company is changing. The feeling that it’s changed and it’s become something that it wasn’t.
“And this is another sign of the idea that they took a guy from WWE and replaced their… I can’t even say replaced because they were two different jobs – Mike Mansury is the head of the production at the shows, and Kevin Sullivan was the head of the post-production. But the idea that they brought in a guy from WWE and put him above the guy that they had, who had the ability to get rid of the guy.
“So that was, for people who had been there from the start, I could see where that’s another thing of WWE guys taking the place of guys who were here from the start.”
Tony Khan has recently boasted about the performance of AEW All In tickets which went on sale on December 1, 2023.
Over in ROH, with Final Battle taking place on December 15, it was recently reported that as of December 1, fewer than 1,000 tickets had been distributed for the event with a seating capacity of 3,722.
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