All Elite Wrestling
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All Elite Wrestling, LLC (AEW) is an American
professional wrestling Professional wrestling is a form of entertainment and performing art, which combines athletics with performance. It comprises of exhibitions, called 'matches', held by touring companies called Professional wrestling promotion, promotions, in ...
promotion Promotion may refer to: Marketing * Promotion (marketing), one of the four marketing mix elements, comprising any type of marketing communication used to inform or persuade target audiences of the relative merits of a product, service, brand or i ...
founded in 2019. Its inception was announced by
Shahid Khan Shahid Rafiq Khan ( ur, ; born July 18, 1950),"Sha ...
and his son , 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 Cody Garrett Runnels Rhodes (born June 30, 1985) is an American professional wrestling, professional wrestler, promoter, businessman, and actor. He is signed to All Elite Wrestling (AEW), where he serves as an Executive Vice President as well as a ...
, Matt and Nick Jackson, and
Adam Page Stephen Blake Woltz (born July 27, 1991), better known by his ring name A ring name is a type of stage name used by an athlete such as a Professional wrestling, professional wrestler, Mixed martial arts, mixed martial artist, or Boxing, boxer w ...
, 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 Kenny is a surname, a given name, and a diminutive of several different given names. In Ireland, the surname is an Anglicisation of the Irish Ó Cionnaith, also spelt Ó Cionnaoith and Ó Cionaodha, meaning "descendant of Cionnaith". It was on ...
, fellow professional wrestler and co-founder of The Elite. Since October 2, 2019, AEW has produced a two-hour weekly television show, ''
AEW Dynamite ''AEW Dynamite'', also known as ''Wednesday Night Dynamite'' or simply ''Dynamite'', is a professional wrestling Professional wrestling is a type of athletic exhibition and entertainment involving wrestling matches whose progress and outcome ar ...
'', airing live on TNT (American TV network), TNT in the United States. 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".


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. The comment was responded to by professional wrestlers
Cody Rhodes Cody Garrett Runnels Rhodes (born June 30, 1985) is an American professional wrestling, professional wrestler, promoter, businessman, and actor. He is signed to All Elite Wrestling (AEW), where he serves as an Executive Vice President as well as a ...
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). They promoted and held an independent professional wrestling event called All In (professional wrestling event), 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. 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 industries, television industry were also very impressed with the show.


Formation

On November 5, 2018, several trademarks were filed in Jacksonville, Florida, that indicated the launch of All Elite Wrestling. 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. In December 2018, Cody, The Young Bucks, and several other wrestlers left ROH. The official announcement of AEW's creation came at midnight Pacific Time Zone, Pacific Time on January 1, 2019, in an episode of ''The Elite (professional wrestling)#Being The Elite, Being the Elite'', a YouTube web series created by and featuring The Elite. Also announced in the episode was Double or Nothing (2019), Double or Nothing, AEW's inaugural event and sequel to All In. 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. Tony and his father, Shahid Khan, Shahid, were reportedly backing the promotion as lead investors. The Khans are billionaires and part of the ownership group of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham F.C. Cody's wife, Brandi Rhodes, was announced as the company's chief brand officer on January 3, 2019. 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 The Addiction (professional wrestling), SoCal Uncensored (Christopher Daniels, Scorpio Sky, and Frankie Kazarian), Adam Page (wrestler), "Hangman" Adam Page; independent wrestlers Britt Baker, Dr. Britt Baker, Joey Janela, and former WWE wrestlers Pac (wrestler), Pac, and Chris Jericho. They also announced a working relationship with China, Chinese professional wrestling promotion Oriental Wrestling Entertainment (OWE). On February 7, 2019, the group held a press conference where tickets were released for Double or Nothing. Other big announcements included
Kenny Omega Kenny is a surname, a given name, and a diminutive of several different given names. In Ireland, the surname is an Anglicisation of the Irish Ó Cionnaith, also spelt Ó Cionnaoith and Ó Cionaodha, meaning "descendant of Cionnaith". It was on ...
joining as a competitor and the company's fourth co-Executive Vice President, as well as the signings of Lucha Brothers (Pentagón Jr. and Fénix (wrestler), Rey Fénix), Best Friends (professional wrestling), Best Friends (Trent Barreta, Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor (wrestler), Chuck Taylor), and a partnership with Mexico, Mexican promotion Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (AAA).


Early history

On May 15, 2019, AEW and WarnerMedia announced a deal for a weekly prime-time show airing live on TNT (U.S. TV network), TNT, the network that formerly had broadcast WCW's ''WCW Monday Nitro, 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". On May 25, 2019, AEW produced their first ever pay-per-view (PPV), Double or Nothing (2019), 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. During the summer AEW produced two more events, Fyter Fest (2019), Fyter Fest in June and Fight for the Fallen (2019), Fight for the Fallen in July. On August 31, 2019 AEW produced their second pay-per-view event, All Out (2019), 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. On September 19, 2019, TNT's website listed AEW show's as ''
AEW Dynamite ''AEW Dynamite'', also known as ''Wednesday Night Dynamite'' or simply ''Dynamite'', is a professional wrestling Professional wrestling is a type of athletic exhibition and entertainment involving wrestling matches whose progress and outcome ar ...
'', a one-hour preview show was also scheduled for October 1 at 8 PM. On October 2, 2019, ''AEW Dynamite , Dynamite'' debuted on TNT which averaged 1.409 million viewers, which made it the largest television debut on TNT in five years. Also on October 2, WWE 's ''WWE NXT, 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 ''NXT''s 414,000. This would also mark the beginning of the "Wednesday Night Wars". Prior to and after the episodes, Glossary of professional wrestling terms#dark match, 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. On November 9, 2019, AEW produced their third pay-per-view event, Full Gear (2019), Full Gear. In the main event, Jon Moxley defeated
Kenny Omega Kenny is a surname, a given name, and a diminutive of several different given names. In Ireland, the surname is an Anglicisation of the Irish Ó Cionnaith, also spelt Ó Cionnaoith and Ó Cionaodha, meaning "descendant of Cionnaith". It was on ...
in an unsanctioned Lights Out match. 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. On February 19, 2020, AEW reached a new media rights deal with Germany, German media company Sky Deutschland (which previously broadcast WWE and Impact Wrestling shows) to broadcast AEW pay-per-views on Sky Sport (Germany), Sky Select Event. AEW has a training facility known as the ''Nightmare Family, Nightmare Factory''. The facility is managed by QT Marshall, who serves as a trainer. On August 3, 2020, Jazwares released the first line of AEW action figures and toys. 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. On December 8, 2020, AEW started a partnership with Impact Wrestling, which saw AEW World Champion, Kenny Omega making several appearances on ''Impact! (TV series), Impact!'' segments, during the following weeks. Kenny Omega would later make his in ring debut for Impact at Hard To Kill (2021), Hard to Kill. On February 3, 2021, at AEW Beach Break, Beach Break List of AEW Dynamite special episodes, television special AEW started a partnership with New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW). After the main event, Kenta Kobayashi, Kenta made his AEW debut and hit Jon Moxley with his finishing strike, the Professional wrestling attacks#Go 2 Sleep, Go 2 Sleep. Kenta would later make his AEW in ring debut at the following ''Dynamite''.


Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

As other sports cancellations and postponements were being announced in March 2020, AEW began to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, American onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, 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 behind closed doors (sport), without spectators from Daily's Place in Jacksonville, Florida. Double or Nothing (2020), 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. COVID-19 pandemic in Nevada, 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. The announcement also confirmed that a Double or Nothing (2021), third Double or Nothing event would emanate from the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 29, 2021. 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. In an interview on the ''AEW Unrestricted'' podcast, Tony Khan stated the pandemic has deprived AEW millions of dollars in revenue from live events. 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. 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 (2020), All Out.


Programming

On May 8, 2019, AEW reached a new media rights deal with United Kingdom, 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 (2019), 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. 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. In November 2019, AEW announced AEW Bash at the Beach, 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. On February 19, 2020, AEW reached a new media rights deal with Germany, 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 Sport (Germany), Sky Select Event. 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. 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''.


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.


Personnel


Championships and accomplishments


Championships


Accomplishments


References


External links

* {{Authority control All Elite Wrestling, 2019 establishments in Florida American companies established in 2019 Companies based in Jacksonville, Florida English-language YouTube channels Entertainment companies of the United States Entertainment-related YouTube channels Shahid Khan YouTube channels launched in 2019