All Elite Wrestling
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All Elite Wrestling

All Elite Wrestling, LLC
All Elite Wrestling
TypePrivate
IndustryProfessional wrestling
FoundedJanuary 1, 2019; 2 years ago (2019-01-01)
FoundersTony Khan[1][2][3]
Headquarters1 TIAA Bank Field Dr,
Jacksonville, Florida,
United States
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Products
  • Home video
  • Live events
  • Merchandise
  • Music
  • Pay-per-view
  • Publishing
  • Streaming network service
  • Television
ServicesLicensing
OwnerShahid Khan
Tony Khan
DivisionsAEW Games[4]
AEW Heels[5]
AEW Music[6]
Shop AEW
Websitewww.allelitewrestling.com

All Elite Wrestling (AEW) is an American professional wrestling promotion founded in 2019.[1] Its inception was announced by Shahid Khan and his son Tony, with the former acting as the promotion's lead investor, and the latter being the founder, president and CEO of the company. Professional wrestlers Cody Rhodes, Matt and Nick Jackson, and Adam Page, collectively known as The Elite, were the promotion's inaugural contracted talents. Rhodes and the Jacksons are serving as both in-ring performers and executive vice presidents alongside Kenny Omega, fellow professional wrestler and co-founder of The Elite.

Since October 2, 2019,[7] AEW has produced a two-hour weekly television show, AEW Dynamite,[8] airing live on TNT in the United States.[9][10] CBS Sports described AEW as "the first company with major financial backing to take a swing at beginning to compete with WWE on a major level in nearly two decades".[11]

History

Background

In May 2017, professional wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer made a comment that the American professional wrestling promotion Ring of Honor (ROH) could not sell 10,000 tickets for a wrestling event.[12] The comment was responded to by professional wrestlers Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks (the tag team of Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson), who were then top stars signed to ROH and good friends both inside and outside of professional wrestling as part of the group Bullet Club (and later part of the sub-Bullet Club faction, The Elite).[13] They promoted and held an independent professional wrestling event called All In in September 2018, featuring wrestlers from ROH as well as other promotions. The event sold out in 30 minutes and had the largest audience in attendance for a professional wrestling show in the United States held and organized by promoters not affiliated with WWE or World Championship Wrestling (WCW) since 1993. The event was attended by 11,263 people.[14][15][16][17] The event was acclaimed, and it led to much online speculation that Cody and The Young Bucks would expand their ambitions and create their own professional wrestling promotion or do a second All In event. People in the television industry were also very impressed with the show.[18][19]

Formation

The Elite (Cody Rhodes (left) and The Young Bucks (right)) teamed up to help start the promotion.
Tony Khan (left) is the president and CEO of AEW, while his father Shahid Khan (right) is the co-lead investor and co-owner of the promotion.

On November 5, 2018, several trademarks were filed in Jacksonville, Florida, that indicated the launch of All Elite Wrestling.[20][21] Names filed for trademark included: All Elite Wrestling, AEW All Out, All Out, AEW, Double or Nothing, Tuesday Night Dynamite, AEW Double or Nothing, and several logos.[22][23][24] In December 2018, Cody, The Young Bucks, and several other wrestlers left ROH.[25][26] The official announcement of AEW's creation came at midnight Pacific Time on January 1, 2019, in an episode of Being the Elite, a YouTube web series created by and featuring The Elite. Also announced in the episode was Double or Nothing, AEW's inaugural event and sequel to All In.[27][28][29]

On January 2, 2019, Cody and The Young Bucks officially signed with the promotion as competitors as well as serving as AEW's co-Executive Vice Presidents, while entrepreneur, football executive, and longtime wrestling fan Tony Khan was announced as the president of the company.[30][31] Tony and his father, Shahid, were reportedly backing the promotion as lead investors.[32][33] The Khans are billionaires and part of the ownership group of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham F.C.[34]

Cody's wife, Brandi Rhodes, was announced as the company's chief brand officer on January 3, 2019.[35][36] On January 8, 2019, the company held its inaugural press conference on the forecourt of the TIAA Bank Field, where they announced talents that were going to perform as part of the promotion, including former ROH wrestlers the team of SoCal Uncensored (Christopher Daniels, Scorpio Sky, and Frankie Kazarian), "Hangman" Adam Page; independent wrestlers Dr. Britt Baker, Joey Janela, and former WWE wrestlers Pac, and Chris Jericho.[37] They also announced a working relationship with Chinese professional wrestling promotion Oriental Wrestling Entertainment (OWE).[38][39]

On February 7, 2019, the group held a press conference where tickets were released for Double or Nothing. Other big announcements included Kenny Omega joining as a competitor and the company's fourth co-Executive Vice President, as well as the signings of Lucha Brothers (Pentagón Jr. and Rey Fénix), Best Friends (Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor), and a partnership with Mexican promotion Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (AAA).[40]

Early history

On May 15, 2019, AEW and WarnerMedia announced a deal for a weekly prime-time show airing live on TNT, the network that formerly had broadcast WCW's Monday Nitro during the Monday Night Wars (1995-2001). CBS Sports describes AEW as "the first company with major financial backing to take a swing at beginning to compete with WWE on a major level in nearly two decades".[11]

On May 25, 2019, AEW produced their first ever pay-per-view (PPV), Double or Nothing. It took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, and saw the debut of Jon Moxley. Also during Double or Nothing, pro wrestling veteran Bret Hart unveiled the AEW World Championship belt.[41]

During the summer AEW produced two more events, Fyter Fest in June and Fight for the Fallen in July.[42]

On August 31, 2019 AEW produced their second pay-per-view event, All Out. At the event, the AEW Women's World Championship belt was unveiled and in the main event, Chris Jericho defeated Adam Page to become the inaugural AEW World Champion.[43]

On September 19, 2019, TNT's website listed AEW show's as AEW Dynamite, a one-hour preview show was also scheduled for October 1 at 8 PM.[44]

On October 2, 2019, Dynamite debuted on TNT which averaged 1.409 million viewers, which made it the largest television debut on TNT in five years.[45] Also on October 2, WWE 's NXT would make their two-hour debut on USA Network (the previous two episodes featured the first hour on USA with the second hour on the WWE Network), and they averaged 891,000 viewers. Dynamite beat out NXT in viewership and more than doubled its competition in the key adults 18-49 demographic, scoring 878,000 viewers compared to NXTs 414,000. This would also mark the beginning of the "Wednesday Night Wars".[46] Prior to and after the episodes, untelevised matches were filmed to air on AEW Dark on the following Tuesdays (except before pay-per-view events, where the episodes air Fridays) on AEW's YouTube channel.[47]

On November 9, 2019, AEW produced their third pay-per-view event, Full Gear. In the main event, Jon Moxley defeated Kenny Omega in an unsanctioned Lights Out match.[48]

On January 15, 2020, WarnerMedia and AEW announced a $175 million contract extension for Dynamite on TNT through 2023 and that AEW would be launching an upcoming second television weekly show.[49][50]

On February 19, 2020, AEW reached a new media rights deal with German media company Sky Deutschland (which previously broadcast WWE and Impact Wrestling shows) to broadcast AEW pay-per-views on Sky Select Event.[51]

AEW has a training facility known as the Nightmare Factory. The facility is managed by QT Marshall, who serves as a trainer.[52][53]

On August 3, 2020, Jazwares released the first line of AEW action figures and toys.[54]

On November 10, the promotion announced AEW Games, the company's video game brand. AEW revealed that three games are in development; AEW Casino: Double or Nothing and AEW Elite GM for mobile devices, and a untitled console game developed by former WWE 2K developer Yuke's.[55][56]

On December 8, 2020, AEW started a partnership with Impact Wrestling, which saw AEW World Champion, Kenny Omega making several appearances on Impact! segments, during the following weeks.[57] Kenny Omega would later make his in ring debut for Impact at Hard to Kill.[58]

On February 3, 2021, at Beach Break television special AEW started a partnership with New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW). After the main event, Kenta made his AEW debut and hit Jon Moxley with his finishing strike, the Go 2 Sleep.[59] Kenta would later make his AEW in ring debut at the following Dynamite.[60][61]

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

Daily's Place, the venue where all AEW events have been held since March 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

As other sports cancellations and postponements were being announced in March 2020, AEW began to be impacted by the American onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Following the suspension of the 2019-20 NBA season after two players tested positive from the virus, the March 18 episode of Dynamite was held without spectators from Daily's Place in Jacksonville, Florida.[62][63] Double or Nothing was supposed to take place on May 23, but on April 8, the MGM Grand Garden Arena announced that they had canceled all events up through May 31 due to the virus.[64] Nevada has been in a state of emergency since March 12, banning all public gatherings indefinitely. In response, AEW announced that Double or Nothing would still proceed as planned but from Daily's Place, as well as TIAA Bank Field stadium for the main event match.

On April 13, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had deemed AEW, like WWE, an essential business critical to the state's economy, and had added an exception under the state's stay-at-home order for employees of a "professional sports and media production" that is closed to the public and has a national audience.[65][66][67] In an interview on the AEW Unrestricted podcast, Tony Khan stated the pandemic has deprived AEW millions of dollars in revenue from live events.[68]

AEW announced the return of ticketed fans to live events on August 20, following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines including wearing masks, physical distancing, and temperature checks.[69] Beginning with their August 27 episode of Dynamite, they allowed up to 10 percent capacity at Daily's Place and up to 15 percent capacity starting at All Out.[70] Starting with the Blood and Guts event on May 5, 2021, AEW began to hold events at 50 percent capacity.[71]

Programming

On May 8, 2019, AEW reached a new media rights deal with British media company ITV plc to broadcast AEW shows on ITV4 with pay-per-views being broadcast on ITV Box Office starting with Double or Nothing on May 25, 2019. However, after ITV Box Office ceased operations in January 2020, ITV no longer broadcasts AEW pay-per-views in the UK.[72]

AEW releases a "Road to..." and "Countdown to..." series of videos on its official YouTube channel prior to Dynamite and pay-per-view events. The videos consist of interviews, video packages, and backstage segments. The series is used to hype pre-existing matches, as well as create new rivalries.[73]

In November 2019, AEW announced Bash at the Beach, a nine-day series of events, featuring two episodes of Dynamite, including one aboard Chris Jericho's Rock 'N' Wrestling Rager at Sea.[74]

On February 19, 2020, AEW reached a new media rights deal with German media company Sky Deutschland (owned by Comcast, WWE's United States broadcast partner, which previously broadcast WWE and Impact Wrestling shows) to broadcast AEW pay-per-views on Sky Select Event.[51]

On January 22, 2021, TNT Africa announced that the channel would begin airing Dynamite on Friday nights in Sub-Saharan Africa. The show premiered on February 5, 2021.[75]

In February 2021, AEW announced their newest show AEW Dark: Elevation, which will air on Mondays on their YouTube channel as a complement to AEW Dark.[76]

Program Original release Original network Notes
AEW Dynamite October 2, 2019-present TNT AEW's flagship program.
AEW Dark October 8, 2019-present YouTube Features untelevised matches held during Dynamite tapings.
AEW Dark: Elevation March 15, 2021-present YouTube Features AEW's established and rising stars, as well as the top independent wrestlers.

Events

AEW pay-per-view events are available via B/R Live in the United States and Canada, and via FITE TV internationally. Additionally, AEW PPVs are also available via traditional PPV outlets in the United States and Canada and are carried by all major satellite providers.[77][78]

Personnel

Championships and accomplishments

Championships

Championship Current champion(s) Reign Date won Days
held
Location Notes
AEW World Championship Kenny Omega 2016.jpg Kenny Omega 1 December 2, 2020 165 Jacksonville, Florida Defeated Jon Moxley at Winter Is Coming.
AEW TNT Championship Rusev 2018 HOF (cropped) 2.jpg Miro 1 May 12, 2021 4 Jacksonville, Florida Defeated Darby Allin on Dynamite.
AEW Women's World Championship HIKARU SHIDA .jpg Hikaru Shida 1 May 23, 2020 358 Jacksonville, Florida Defeated Nyla Rose in a No Disqualification and No Countout match at Double or Nothing.[79][80]
AEW World Tag Team Championship Young Bucks Smash 2013.jpg The Young Bucks
(Matt and Nick Jackson)
1 November 7, 2020 190 Jacksonville, Florida Defeated FTR (Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood) at Full Gear.
FTW Championship Brian Cage.jpg Brian Cage 1 July 2, 2020 318 Jacksonville, Florida Awarded title by Taz during Fyter Fest Night 2.
Aired on tape delay on July 8, 2020.

Accomplishments

Accomplishment Latest winner Date won Location Notes Ref.
Casino Battle Royale (men) Lance Archer September 5, 2020 Jacksonville, Florida Last eliminated Eddie Kingston at All Out to win, earning a future AEW World Championship match on Dynamite Anniversary Show on October 14, 2020.
Casino Battle Royale (women) Nyla Rose August 31, 2019 Hoffman Estates, Illinois Last eliminated Britt Baker at All Out to win, earning a match for the inaugural AEW Women's World Championship on the debut episode of Dynamite on October 2, 2019.[81]
Casino Tag Team Royale Death Triangle
(Pac and Rey Fénix)
March 6, 2021 Jacksonville, Florida Fenix won by last eliminating Jungle Boy of Jurassic Express at Revolution, earning himself and Pac a match for the AEW World Tag Team Championship.
Casino Ladder Match Brian Cage May 23, 2020 Jacksonville, Florida Defeated Frankie Kazarian, Scorpio Sky, Kip Sabian, Darby Allin, Orange Cassidy, Colt Cabana, Joey Janela, and Luchasaurus at Double or Nothing to win, earning a future AEW World Championship match. [82]
Dynamite Diamond Ring MJF December 9, 2020 Jacksonville, Florida Defeated Orange Cassidy on Dynamite to win the ring after winning a battle royal alongside Cassidy at Winter Is Coming. [72]
Women's Tag Team Cup Tournament: The Deadly Draw Diamante and Ivelisse August 22, 2020 Jacksonville, Florida Defeated The Nightmare Sisters (Allie and Brandi Rhodes) in the tournament final on Saturday Night Dynamite to win.

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External links


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