Wrestling fighting back to the top
March 28, 2023
In the past few years, the world of professional wrestling has been changing in ways we haven’t seen in at least a decade. Despite still being a small part of the company, the reign of Vince McMahon is coming to an end and we’re seeing creativity flowing like a river. The PG Era wasn’t well received for the majority of the time, and fans were desperate for something new.
A major part of the wrestling business’s sudden resurgence is the birth of AEW. The top dog of the wrestling industry has been WWE. No debate, no second thought, they have been the wrestling company. Sure there were smaller promotions like ROH and the always funny TNA, but none have even gotten close to going toe to toe with the WWE. But, in 2019, wrestling fans were shocked to see former at the time, but now current, WWE star Cody Rhodes announced a new company. A company where stars’ creativity and visions were the top priority. No crappy characters or storylines. No invisible brass rings to reach for. That company was AEW.
AEW took the wrestling world by storm. Not only were there former WWE stars joining like Billy Gunn, Chris Jericho, and John Moxley(Dean Ambrose), but also stars who built themselves away from WWE like Sting, Kenny Omega, Darby Allin, and most of all, MJF. They even brought back fan favorite commentators like Taz and Good Ol’ Jim Ross.
While AEW was growing its new brand, WWE was having a very different situation.
Their main roster was still decent with Bray Wyatt’s new character The Fiend being wildly popular, but it was their “developmental brand” NXT that was at the top of fans’ interest. NXT used to be the place where wrestlers would go to build their character and try to become better performers, but then it was put in control by Triple H, Vince McMahon’s son-in-law.
NXT under Triple H was exciting and fresh. The stars that were being built there were getting over better than the stars on the main roster. There was no upper or mid-card talent, they were all special. It made it hard to see NXT stars get brought to the main roster because they would never have the momentum they had in NXT. There are a few exceptions to this like Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and arguably Sami Zayn, but most of the time, they would have been much better off staying in NXT.
Now though, the main roster has been improving a lot. The new Bloodline story with Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn has been great, Cody Rhodes’ return was amazing, and the mid-card is solid with the Miz continuing to be awesome, pun intended, and the surprisingly great work from Logan Paul.
NXT has had a bit of an identity crisis, but it’s still not horrible. There are still young stars being built but it’s also a place where main roster stars go when they have nothing to do like Finn Balor and The New Day.
After the loss of Cody Rhodes, AEW’s top star has been MJF, and he’s been doing great. His work in the ring, on the mic, and in press conferences has been amazing. He did throw a drink on a kid which got a bit of controversy, but I don’t think it was that bad. The kid got to go backstage and meet some wrestlers, and MJF grew as a heel.
I think that both companies are thriving right now, and it’s great to see. The PG Era of wrestling had a lot more downs than ups, but it’s good to see the industry moving in the right direction. I hope that wrestling companies continue to grow and be seen because the world always needs more violence to cheer for.