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Basically, AEW needs to start going going to new or mostly untouched markets. Because even if Chicago is a hot market for AEW....they ran so many shows there recently.


I mean look at the business WWE just did in western Canada mainly because they’re starved of live wrestling. The fact that they haven’t had any live shows there in 3-4 years juiced those gates enormously


Can't believe they are crossing the border for one Toronto show... they could have sold out a 10k show in Montréal if they came up here, easily.


Staying in California for ONE WEEK made no sense to me at all.




As someone who lives in Northern California I’m STARVING for an AEW show maaan


At least we're supposedly getting Revolution next year in the Bay Area.


This. Even for what we got when I went to Rampage in ontario It was exciting but still felt lackluster. It was my first live event watching wrestling since late 80s and took some people they felt the same way.


And saying California is a big stretch. They stayed in the LA area.


Staying in Vegas for a week made sense because it was for Double or Nothing. I thought they would've stayed much longer in California.


I tried buying tickets for the Dynamite show in Toronto 10 minutes after they went on sale and none were available at the time so I assumed they had sold out. I just checked again and there are some available now, but the cheapest tickets are $166. Decent seats are $300 or more. I'm going to pass on those prices.


Yeah, the tickets for Dynamite went fast and are now absurd. Plus, I looked at the Rampage tickets and they're $115 minimum. No thanks.


Two Toronto shows.


Like how are they not coming to Calgary for the Owen Hart tournament?


As an aside, it's mentioned later in this Newsletter that even WWE has cancelled 5 house shows since 9/11 this month due to poor advances. So even with WWE being super hot, there's limits to how well wrestling will do with tickets.


The recession is becoming real for a lot of fans, I would guess.


Canada is reportedly heading for a huge one next year, one that’s worse than what we’re currently going through. It does blow my mind that Tony doesn’t do a lot of shows in Canada. What’s the point of only coming here for Toronto and running back to America? Seems wasteful.


Globally, it appears we are all heading towards a recession. Guess Stardew Valley is the only place where I will own property. =(


Fear not, if shit gets bad enough, those of us that own property will probably lose it


TBF that's pretty standard for American bands and companies doing shows in Canada. Vancouver and Toronto, and nothing in between. Vancouver is close to Seattle, and Toronto is close to Detroit.


AEW could easily hit Ottawa and Montreal, especially the latter. Those are wrestling cities in their own rights.


At a certain point you have to decide whether you’re going to spend $600 to take a family of 4 to a 3 hour wrestling event, or use that same money to pay your car payment and and buy groceries. Definitely understandable


Or the UK, they must've raked in a staggering amount from the Cardiff show based upon the capacity and crazy high ticket prices.


They titillated the juices of those gates.


100% Agree. They just hit Columbus and are now hitting Cincinnati. While I'm happy because I'm going to Cincinnati those two shows are really close together. In general it feels like to me running markets outside of NY/Chicago/LA more than once in a calendar year is asking for burn out from your fanbase in a city. Even WWE doesn't usually hit most mid major cities more than once in a calendar year, and that includes house shows.


Yeah I'm in Indianapolis and we're a major market it seems. WWE has done two events this year and we've hosted Summerslams and Wrestlemania. AEW just announced their first show here in over a year, which is great but how many times have they been to Chicago? Why are they going from Chicago to Florida to NY instead of hitting up the mid-sized cities around Chicago? It's just kinda weird to me


Yeah they're around Indy ALL the time but only come here once a year it seems. AEW just needs to run other cities and go out west. I'm sure it's expensive but burnout seems to be a real issue.


Same with Milwaukee. It's only 90 minutes from Chicago, but we only get Dynamite once a year. It's usually the go-home show to a PPV, so that doesn't suck, but it's a super easy loop to run and I don't know why they don't do it more often. I guess they think they can attract people to make the short drive/train ride to Chicago, but still.


I'm not saying they need to run Indy 2 or 3 times a year it's just becoming obvious that they're overdoing some markets.


I've gone to both of the previous shows in Indy and the crowd was great both times. I'm baffled they only come here once a year, and usually in the winter months. I'd like a summer show, please 🙏


I wonder who books their arenas and devises their loops. That's where this issue needs to be resolved.


I live in between Cincy and Col. I could easily go to either one based on distance. I'm going to Cincy just because it worked out better and it's Jeeeyooon Moxley's hometown.


Cleveland and Columbus were only two weeks apart. The show in West Virginia was around that time too. So many shows within a relatively small geographic area.


Law of Diminishing Returns. I’ve been to every AEW show in the Baltimore/DC area. 1st Dynamite, Full Gear 2019, and every Dynamite/Rampage that’s come round since. And I really don’t have much interest in going to either the DC shows next week or the one in Baltimore in November. I mean, it’s nice to be able to say that they’re coming here too much, but it’s about time they start hitting more West Coast cities, and maybe hitting some markets that haven’t had a big wrestling show in a while. What I will say is that they need to leave Chicago alone until at least All Out next year. Hell, at this point I’d say they should probably bring that show to another market.


they were in dc in january and baltimore in may (i went to both shows), just seems to be too soon to hit both cities again


Yeah, that was my thought too. Went to both the DC shows and the Baltimore show and now they’re back again so soon. I guess I understand running the Anniversary show in DC, but even so, I’m kind of burned out on AEW shows for the next little while.


I think they might underestimate the venue choice in DC. The first Dynamite was at what’s generally considered an easy to get to venue, but as someone out in MoCo, getting to the Entertainment and Sports Arena was a trek, and a place a lot of people haven’t been. Doing it twice in one week was even tougher.


I absolutely agree. Went to the shows in January and the venue itself was a ballache to get to/leave. Public transport options aren’t fantastic around there, and I know some people were kind of put off because it’s in a not-so-great part of the city.


ughhh, that last half mile to get to the parking lot was a nightmare. traffic control was terrible


They ran Carolina into the dust with a show in Greensboro just before Christmas, Charlotte just after new years, and Raleigh days after that. The Raleigh show was way below 50% capacity. No word on when or if they'll be back


And two of the shows were not good. I went to the Greensboro show and it was awesome, but Battle of the Belts was mediocre (didn't go for what it is worth) and the Raleigh Dynamite might have been the worst one in that calendar year. I went to the other Dynamite in Charlotte, at the Bojangles Arena, and it was terrible. The show kicked ass but the building was just awful. I've never seen longer lines at any event in my entire life.


Went to the same shows Charlotte in July was way too hot to be lining up around a building for hours beforehand, show kicked ass with that Dark Order/Hangman entrance and Jericho/Gage deathmatch Greensboro was perfect, chilly afterwards though, solid show from Elevation through Rampage Raleigh was just a slog, I remember nothing about it whatsoever


The lines inside were insane too. The guy sitting next to me said it took him 40 minutes to buy two beers before the show. I went to get a beer during the Jurassic Express match and the line was so damn long I went with a soft drink instead...and it still took at least fifteen minutes. Forget about buying merch. I wanted the "Fyter Fest - I was there" shirt but if I waited in line to buy it I wouldn't have actually been there, because I would have been in line for half of Dynamite. I did not line up hours before hand. I think we got there after the doors opened so we missed some of Dark. The Greensboro building was great. No lines and easy parking. I thought Cody (remember him?) said they were going to come back the weekend before Christmas every year like Crockett did. Of course, he also promised he would fight Hook in Greensboro next time, the liar!


Cali, Phoenix, Albuquerque, all would probably do well because those markets haven't seen as many shows. Head that way for awhile, then places like DC and new York aren't like "meh, I'll go when they come next month"


AEW announced a show for Albuquerque a few months before the pandemic hit and then it got cancelled/ignored. :(


Still mad about that, esp because they rescheduled once for Dec 2020, cancelled again, and then never rescheduled. I was so excited!


Yep. I was going to mention Phoenix - the 5th biggest city in America - and they still haven't been here.


All the places Dave lists are places where I feel like they've been several times already. That wouldn't happen if they hit the West Coast more frequently.


I went to the LA show and at the end of the Dynamite Mox was there with Eddie Kingston talking about how LA was AEW country or something like that and how they’d be coming back more frequently before they went back east and ran like 10 shows in the same 3-5 state vicinity.


That's hilarious lmao


As a Chicagoan, I gotta agree. It was a long running joke that AEW runs Chicago damn near monthly.... but holy shit, the last 12 months was almost true. Since last September, AEW has run 9 (NINE!) shows here. And they're coming back again in November. That's just straight up insanity.




I think that's definitely part of it. Frustrating booking & lack of character/feud development really kills people's interest though. MJF vs Punk and everything Hangman does got me to watch this past year. Everything else seemed like it had the rug pulled out from under it or only lasted a few weeks (Eddie vs Punk)


We over here in Denver are wondering what we did to piss AEW off, because we haven’t been visited since AEW’s debut in March 2020. We’ve got weed, bro! Lots and lots of weed! >_<


They do a whole lot of east shows. I get that it’s probably the most logical move but they would reallllly benefit from hitting the western side of the country more frequently


Live at 5pm Pacific time for Dynamite probably hurts a bit.


You can't ice out 1-2 timezones forever because some people won't be able to make it. Especially when west coasters are used to a 5pm bell time for Raw already.


4pm once you add some dark matches, so 3pm does open. I’ve done a show taping for Raw, these time frames suck. You need to take a half day off at work just to attend. It is what it is, but I do agree it’s a factor in the # of shows that come here.


If they do Rampage separate, and have 2 ring crews, they could do live Rampage and Battle of the Belts or maybe ROH tapings in the future.


people will take the day off work and haul their kids out of school for stuff that doesn't happen a lot. i think a west coast tour would be fine.


They need to go to new markets.


This 100%. They need to go to the west coast for at least a full month and hit LA (again), San Francisco, Phoenix, San Diego. I do not believe AEW has gone to Green Bay and has not gone back to Denver since before the pandemic. Plenty of complete states have not been touched (Iowa, Nebraska, Idaho) come to mind. Personally, I’m *really* surprised by the strong ticket sales for Rampage at Mohegan Sun Arena. IMO, this shows there are small to mid size markets AEW has not run it’s neglected for a long time.


I commented elsewhere. Presuming that they use the same production crew (probably, rightly contracted guys who know what they’re doing), it’s not so simple to just cross the continent. And it’s also super expensive. From what I’ve seen if the WWE rigging and trucks, I’d imagine they either have a few bases, or a fairly large crew who travel by land incrementally. Both are unspeakably expensive and are probably offset by huge amounts of money coming in from ppv gates, tv money, and numerous other things. Shad/Tony Kahn have fuck off money but I’m sure this is still being run somewhat like a regular business.


They’re killing the territory, basically. They need a run up and down the Pacific coast, hit Denver, Phoenix, etc. I mean, with all that SoCal / PWG talent, they should have had at least a couple of major shows in and around Los Angeles by now… https://prowrestling.fandom.com/wiki/All_Elite_Wrestling/Event_history


Texas also


Especially the Curtis Calwell center, they never do shows there ! ;)


I’m dying for a PPV in Texas.


Same. I'm in Austin and the new Moody Center just opened (the replacement for the Erwin Center). I haven't been to it yet but would probably be great for a PPV.


Give me Austin, San Antonio, Houston, or something down here. It's insane because WWE does bangbusters when they visit this part of the state.


Maybe they shouldn’t run the same places 4 times a year. I’m tired of having to drive 3 hours north or 5 hours south just to go to a dynamite and would love if they’d come a little closer to where I live. We have 3 venues in my city, all of which are readily available. But AEW won’t come. Shit I’d even take a 2 hour drive to the next big city but they don’t go there either.


>I’m tired of having to drive 3 hours north or 5 hours south just to go to a dynamite and would love if they’d come a little closer to where I live. This has always been a bubble waiting to burst for AEW. For them the unfortunate reality is that a huge portion of their fanbase is a traveling fanbase. That's great, for a while, but it's actually detrimental if it doesn't lead to a wide fanbase across the market. Eventually the traveling fanbase will no longer be willing or able to continue traveling, and when that happens you find yourself with a lot of empty houses.


This right here. I've been to 10 live AEW shows since it's inception. Including flying to a couple PPVs. I just can't justify it anymore for multiple reasons. The shows just aren't as good anymore. And with inflation out of control its not as easy to afford it.


I've been to 10 live shows this year including flying for double or nothing, forbidden door, and all out. i'm fucking burnt out forreal, and the tapings for some of the nights are just soooooo long it's v tiring


Agreed. I can deal with the long PPVs. But near 5 hours for dark, dynamite and rampage is way too much.


> Maybe they shouldn’t run the same places 4 times a year. They've run Chicago NINE TIMES since last September.


I have been to most of them and the Thanksgiving one is the first time I didnt even bother...With College Football, NHL, NFL and NBA coming up. I love wrestling, but the budget only goes so far and its not just competing against WWE for my time and entertainment money. Wrestling is fantastic, but once every 90 days is a lot to ask.


This is definitely a part of it. I drove to one show in Indianapolis, I could easily go to Cincinnati or Nashville, but it's just a matter of wanting to take the time off of work. And with gas prices being high (although they've come down a bit recently) it's just not worth it.


And nothing scheduled for Indy this year despite November usually being a spot. Sigh. I blame the chant from last year


AEW's logistics team has always been a mess, there is no rhyme or reason for how they schedule their live events. They did the LA Forum and Ontario that one week and just left the west coast entirely. They haven't been back to Utah, Colorado, I don't even think they've gone to Arizona or New Mexico at all. Meanwhile they hit Chicago up 4-5 times a year. If they hit a market, it needs to be twice a year. They were just in Philly this past week, they shouldn't go back there until Spring 2023. DC/Baltimore loop makes sense since they were there in what...January? That's enough time, that's how WWE usually does things for RAW and SD, they do a Spring and Winter/Fall loop.


Live near Boston and have been to all the shows in MA since Dynamite started. They were just here like 2 months ago, and the Worcester show was pretty meh, definitely the worst of all the shows they've had here. I did go to buy tickets for the upcoming show but they increased prices a lot so after ticketmaster fees it's at least 100 bucks each for mediocre seats. I can wait until next year. They're here like every 3 months and as others have said definitely need to start hitting more markets so it feels special when they come to town and not like I just saw a show a few weeks ago when they announce tickets are on sale for the next one.


They did Boston in April, then Worcester in July, but they also had the Ring of Honor PPV in Lowell the weekend before Worcester. I want to go to the next Boston show but I haven't bought tickets yet because I want to wait for the hard cam sections to open up.


I also live in the Boston area and have been to all previous Dynamites, but I am skipping the next one. I'm just not as into the product as I was previously. Plus, Agganis is kind of a bitch to get to midweek.


I think everyone on the west coast has the same answer, completely ignoring half the counties existence to keep running the same towns will do that.


Two things: - Last time they did Boston, I overpaid significantly. Paid $75 for a ticket in the cheap seats, only to have my buddy pay $90 to the arena's ticket office on the day of the show and have floor seats. So this time, ticket master's prices are even more expensive for worse tickets, I will just wait to the day of the show and buy them from the arena. - You have to go to new markets. You can't run East coast and Mid west all the time. Go to Mountain and West coast zones more. Run more shows in Colorado, Kansas, Utah, Iowa, Idaho, Cali, Washington, Portland, New Mexico & Arizona more as well as more Canadian tours, Toronto is a good start but more shows should be done in Montreal, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, etc. In the course of the last calendar year, they must have ran about 10 shows in Chicago, at some point, the market becomes saturated and the appetite won't be there to see the shows again.


TM is ridiculous for prices, I've waited last minute for the Boston shows and it's worked out fine and recommend it to anyone


A trick I’ve learned, having worked on the other side at a performing arts venue: wait until the act you want to see loads in the stage and sorts out whether they’re gonna use the house seats that are always held back in case the artist has friends or family in town. You’ll almost always see extra seats released once they assemble the stage and realize that they can fit more people into the venue.


what's hillarious is you can get in to Atlantic City for 15 bucks a ticket for the non-floor about 3 rows up right now because who the FUCK wants to go to Atlantic City for Rampage?


A lot of people mentioning new markets, but Seattle isn't exactly doing record numbers either. Buffalo while not an entirely new market was average at best for the first show. I think a big issue right now is ticket pricing has gone up dramatically at a time when things like food prices are also out of control. AEW doesn't have enough hype right now or market share to carry that price. WWE prices are even crazier, but they got the hot hand right now. That being said there is a house show coming to my area soon, so I thought sure why not as it's been a while. It would be a couple hundred dollars for two decent seats when it would have been maybe 70 2-3 years ago. It's crazy right now.


I do agree as well, jumping prices on tickets seems like it was frankly a bad idea. If they want to charge a premium for PPVs thats fine, but for example my tickets to dynamite ended up being $68 a piece with fees ($50 before fees) and they're not great seats. Is this egregiously high? No, I guess not, but it sure as hell isn't cheap either. Honestly I would have expected my tickets to be more like $35-$40 before fees.


This, I was going to go to the next Boston show but after going to the Worcester show that was pretty mediocre and ticket prices going up a good 30ish percent I don't really want to pay 100 bucks each after the ticketmaster fees for ok seats when it feels like I just went a couple weeks ago.


Buffalo did somewhere between 5500-6000. Honestly, that was pretty good all things considered. We're not a huge city, and the price hike impacts us more than a Chicago, NYC, etc. because we're very much a blue collar community. WWE was here in April and it did 7300. I also don't think it helped that the Bills were playing the opening game of the NFL season the very next night. A LOT of fans were on the road in LA to attend that game, and the city was laser focused on that matchup for the whole week. Just not a ton of attention being paid to a new, #2 wrestling promotion.


Seattle had over 5,000 tickets sold as of a week ago for a show in January. Nothing wrong with those numbers


Plenty of time to position Bryan into something big to draw the hometown crowd.


Swerve is also a PNW guy. They'll do fine in Seattle for January.


They are at 6k now per WrestleTix


Wouldn't help putting ringside seats $350+ in Boston


It’s not so much AEW raising these prices, but Ticketmaster relisting seats as “official platinum” when they see demand. I got two entrance ramps seats, 4th row right on the rail for the face price of $105 (before fees) for the Rampage before Full Gear. The two seats right in front of me are sitting at over $800 right now. Ticketmaster has become it’s own scalper.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't AEW and/or the venue have to approve the use of "Official Platinum" ~~scalping~~ price adjustments?


Yes, Ticketmaster plays the bad guy but they share the profits.


People don't realize this, but Ticketmaster has testified to that fact in court that this is the nature of their fees. They actually got sued because they were adding on even more fees for services that did not exist. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/music-news/ticketmaster-agrees-400-million-settlement-709148/amp/


I have tix for the upcoming show. Paid just about 100 bucks for good seats. Not on the floor even. About 3 rows up from the floor. Go to the row in front of me and they jump over 400 bucks. Can't think of any act living that I'd pay that to see.


Prices are too high, markets are oversaturated, handful of top names aren't featured All three are fixable


Just checked the Bridgeport, CT prices. Exact same price I paid for the exact same seat last time. What you probably meant is that they aren't as hot and need to lower their price?


Even if the AEW ticket price itself hasn't changed what people have to pay day to day to get by has. Goods are more expensive. It might not be as easy to justify that ticket price as an additional expense now than it may have been a year ago.


Ticket prices for big shows have increased. Dynamite Grand Slam did a bigger gate this year, but they had like 7 thousand less people in the building. The tickets I got for Full Gear last year were much better seats and significantly cheaper. Regular Dynamite tickets seem to be in the same range they’ve always been though.


The reoccurring phrase is last time; They did great earlier this year or this time last year. How many times do you need to run Chicago in a single year? How many shows do you need to run in the New York area within the span of a couple of months? Yet, you don’t wanna go west of Kansas City but 5 times or so in 4 years? There is such a thing as burn out and we’re in a recession. Why would you want to go to the wrestling show tomorrow when they’re running an even bigger show in a month and they’ll be back again a few weeks later?


AEW’s live event audience has largely been audience of die hard fans. But you can only go to the well with your die hards so often because these people only have so much time and money. AEW needs to find a way to appeal to more people than just their core audience if they’re always running the same cities.


I mean this has really been the overarching criticism for a lot of top-level decisions for the company. Appealing to a diehard niche (with the exception of going after big-names like Jericho and Punk), across signings, bookings, and tour dates. It feels like it's just ingrained with their current team. Aiming directly at hardcore/IWC/diehard fans works when you want to be a diehard promotion, but when you position yourself as the WWE's rival, eventually you run out of steam.


If you don't think Garcia and Yuta are this generation's Rock and Austin you are fucking casual wwe mark. /s


It definitely feels like AEW pictures their typical fan as some 90s wrestling mark that knows the history of every fed from the last 30 years and all the intricate indie connections between the wrestlers. Also from Chicago and has endless disposable income. They could really use with tightening some of that up. They assume people just know who Juice Robinson or Bandido are and then they gotta do extra work after announcing the match to try and convince people to get hyped at the last minute. Introduce people for a few weeks, build them up and show us why we should be excited. Not just "go to youtube and watch this NJPW match and you'll see".


Tony Khan sees a lot of the fanbase as being like he was when he was younger watching ECW live I’d imagine.


Doesn't help that to this day he is deep into the Meltzer boards. This is why a lot of people laugh at AEW putting over Khan winning Meltzer awards for best bookers. It's a bubble, so you can book a show that doesn't appeal to the audience at large, but so long as those few hundred subscribers think you're incredible because you booked hot Japanese wrestler of the month, Khan genuinely thinks he is killing it.


No no everybody loves niche stories like ROH, worked-shoot promos about sandbags, new signings every week who don't mean anything unless you've followed their entire indie career...


Oh yeah, promoting Ring of Honor branded matches is 100% hurting AEWs audience.




In a way, maybe it ends up being a wakeup call for the company? They've made a lot of head scratching decisions this year, and while internet criticism only holds so much sway, the number of people in the building and attendance figures send a louder message. Hopefully this signals to Tony Khan that he needs to change things up, because the current direction for the company is slipping.


For me it’s a pricing issue. When they came to Rochester NY the first time around I had great seats and spent about $40 (firsthand purchase, not resell). The second time back in July, the same seats were double the price. There was no flipping way I was spending twice the amount of money ESPECIALLY with the how much inflation has taken a toll on my budget.


I feel that’s something a lot of people aren’t realizing. People are deciding between food and bills or a 3 hr AEW show it doesn’t take much to decide which one makes more sense




Jesus. I scored tickets to dynamite and rampage for roughly $120 a piece in Toronto, and I’m in the first couple of rows off the floor. Ticketmaster needs to fuck off with this shit.


The west coast is more of a forbidden door than New Japan.


AEW needs to start focussing on being AEW. It’s still a relatively new company and seems to have spent more time promoting NJPW and ROH than building itself up. The whole product seems to be really diluted. Probably doesn’t help that people buying tickets won’t have much confidence on their favourites being on the show. Since a ton of people are usually missing to be replaced with random indie guys


Tony has lost the plot. He needs legitimate booking help, but he won't get it because, as in his own words (paraphrased), it's his TV.


It doesn't help that the Toronto tickets sold out immediately, but then 80% of them showed back up an hour later as "certified reseller" tickets. It is still very easy to get tickets to the show right now as long as you don't mind paying jacked up prices.


Punk being hurt/maybe gone and the Elite being in limbo certainly doesn't help for all those markets. A good portion of those went on sale when everyone was hurt over the summer. They're also running the Northeast too much between all the shows they've already done and adding live Rampage shows for the next couple months. I also think they need to do more promotion to sell tickets. An easy place to start is having a little more time on the broadcast to plug upcoming shows.


plus do what WWE does and do local commericals for when tickets go on sale in an area, i know usually when WWE comes to my neck of the woods, usually about 4 to 6 weeks before the event, you see commericals on TV promoting the tickets still being on sale


Wait AEW is running Rampage in Canada where they don’t have Rampage? No one’s talking about that but it seems to be incredibly dumb.


The keep running the SAME markets while also increasing the prices. I don’t get their strategy with this. Also, the company not being as hot as they were earlier in the year doesn’t help either. When WWE has low ticket sales, they lower prices and do 2 for 1s. Is AEW doing that? Tony Khan reads the Observer, so I hope he sees this story and makes some needed changes. Although, isn’t it weird that their ratings have been very good recently, yet the ticket sales are down?


Personally I feel like after Hangman won the title there hasn't been a ton of stuff happening. Obviously there are exceptions


Certainly feels like they've been treading water for a while. I don't know what happened, I thought for a while it was just because they were featuring wrestlers I don't particularly care for but even MJF and Moxley are kind of dull now. I think they need to totally reconfigure their show format and go to storyline heavy stuff because going light on the story and focusing heavy on wrestling doesn't work well for most people.


Tony’s running AEW like a territory on the 80s. One or two major storylines, and small filler with the rest of the roster. That’s fine if you want to be regional, but if your goal is nationwide, you need to focus more on storylines.


I couldn’t have said it better. There needs to be more of a focus on building interesting characters and telling good stories


That's what most of are here for, right? I got into wrestling because it features larger than life characters beating the crap out of each other. Not that I hate seeing two trunks-wearing generic technical wrestlers with street names putting on a 5 star match but that can't be what you base your whole company around.


Nice to see someone who also appreciates good characters. Good character work is sadly a lost art these days. So many guys are very bland as personalities and fail to stand out, and I wish that would change. AEW has a lot of potential, and there’s a lot of great talent, but something drastic needs to change. I love a good match just as much as the next person but good characters with motivations and actual storylines make the matches more meaningful.


Exactly. WCW had great wrestling for most of its life, but it wasn’t until the NWO that it really took off, and it was because it was a storyline that affected every aspect of the show. AEW needs something big like that that ties the whole show together, as opposed to each segment being in its own little continuity. That’s great for indie shows, but not for weekly television.


Couldn’t agree more. Outside of MJF vs Punk and whatever Jericho has been doing, it feels like everything is so threadbare and bland. Just bangers for the sake of bangers. Like good wrestling RULES but we have been getting a lot of steak and very little sizzle this year


Totally agree with you in my opinion there aren’t enough interesting storylines. Most of the show isn’t must see tv


This news came out the day I purchased tickets to the Cincinnati show at the Heritage Bank Center box office. I actually chatted with the person selling them, and a big issue seemed to be price, as most of the tickets sold were for the cheaper ($29) seats with the more expensive levels not doing great.


They’ve got some time for some of these shows, but 1500 for Baltimore made me do a double take.


I don't understand why they're doing live rampages. Why would anybody buy tickets to a one hour show that doesn't have any big matches on it?


I believe they tape dark and dark elevation too whenever they do a live rampage. It’s still not the most inventive as you’re essentially only hoping for a stacked Rampage card but it does visibly produce better crowds which can lead to better shows.


This is a huge, huge reason. Almost every one of those truly awful numbers is a live Rampage. There are circumstances where you can do it live, like before a PPV and in a very hot market like Toronto. But otherwise, it’s better to tack it on the end of Dynamite.


Prior to All out TK announced that they were going to try to make Rampage special again because he was getting back all his injured wrestlers and they were going to be at full strength again for the first time in months. THEN THE MONKEY PAW CURLS In all seriousness, when they do live Rampage shows they usually tape Dark and Elevation with it so its not like you show up at 10 watch an hour of a show and go home. Its basically a house show with the last hour televised. I think they also recognize that taping rampage and having spoilers out there hurts the viewership of the show, and also that taping it after running Dark/Elevation/Dynamite before it leads to crowd burn out and a lot of people leaving. So this is probably supposed to be the answer to that as well. Unfortunately it just all went to shit basically immediately.


here to say the ‘monkey paw’ reference popped me


This reminds me of a common complaint you hear the JCP/WCW folks make about the late 80s. They had a good roster but their live show scheduling was beyond goofy where they were either in the wrong markets or their routing didn’t make much sense. While AEW doesn’t do house shows like old JCP/WCW they definitely seem to run too many shows in the same areas.


This has been the trend for awhile but people didn't want to hear it. The resale market for Forbidden Door collapsing the longer the build for the show went on followed by lukewarm ticket sales for Dynamite across the summer should've been cause for concern. Making it necessary for people to buy Dynamite & Rampage tickets to get All Out should've set off alarm bells to how tapped out Chicago was. Grand Slam doing 2/3rds of what it did a year prior despite having a PPV level card got dismissed because "Million dollar gate!" Hitting the West Coast & Canada isn't going to fix AEW's biggest issue which is that their momentum hit a screeching halt over the summer for a variety of reasons.


The prices are too high. I was going to see AEW in Los Angeles, but I couldn’t justify the cost.


Stop going to Chicago and come back to Detroit


They're holding Full Gear in NJ after doing the Arthur Ashe show which is billed as just below a PPV in importance. You've gotta figure there are people who said "OK I saw my aew show, I'm good for a while" and don't feel motivated to rush to a PPV. I'm not saying that as a defense of the sales, I'm saying it as a criticism of location choice.


Because they are burning out the same markets.


AEW has been ramping up ticket prices like crazy, so this isn't a surprise but it is disappointing


Enjoy your reddit care messages, Dave


Gotta be a combination of needing new markets, stars being gone (NJ area here and haven't bought Full Gear tix until I know if Omega is gonna be there) and, quite frankly, price. I've been to 4 AEW shows since Fall 2024 (Newark #1 & 2, UBS #1, Pre-Revolution Rampage in Orlando in Feb) and seeing those ticket prices jump from $25-75 bucks for ***great*** seats to $125+ has made it untenable. I'd love to go to the AC show and the Full Gear duo but I just can't justify the price, especially since I've seen all their current stars previously.


TV ratings are a lagging indicator, the reality is the product has not been good lately. A few bright spots in a sea of boring mediocrity, inexplicably dragged out storylines, tired cliches, benching of some stars and injuries to others After the first Grand Slam last year, a huge success with a great hot crowd they follow up that show up with right back in small venues with jobber cards . The one advantage of having a massive roster is that he could have hot matches week after week, with stars, but he doesn’t. It’s one or maybe two worthwhile matches, a ton of jobber matches and it’s not working They dragged out the Omega/Hangman story so Hangman could take a break causing Omegas run to run out of steam. The Britt/Hayter split won’t happen. Dragged out even things like Julia Hart unnecessarily long. Overexposed Orange to take away what made him special. It kills all of the heat He makes bad booking decisions like not having the Acclaimed go over at the PPV only to run it back for the hell of it a couple weeks later to go over this time. Hobbs & Starks - two of their brightest talents just kind of happened with no fanfare to run that back for a different result. Put the belt back on Moxley, who has also run out of steam and needs a refresh. No FTR. No Miro. But we get Wheeler Yuma & Daniel Garcia every week, no offense to them but come on man


Seriously, I wish I had anyone that saw in me what Tony sees in Yuta or Garcia. Not that they're bad but they're two of the most generic looking guys ever and getting them to learn the trade live on TV doesn't always produce the most entertaining moments. Just give me goddamn Miro man, he always delivers. And NOT against jobbers, against actual people he doesn't stomp out in 30 seconds.


The man has managed to de-shine Bryan fucking Danielson as much as possible within the last year. It took a lot of doing.


Rampage is an afterthought, everyone including the talent treat it that way. Jericho could've challenged Bryan Danielson to a match on Rampage but of course it's for Dynamite. I wouldn't expect that match on a Friday anyway, but it seems most Rampage matches just get casually announced on Twitter or by the announcers on Dynamite.


I’m in the Pittsburgh market and they only scheduled one stop in Pittsburgh this year, back in April. No more Pittsburgh shows scheduled for 2022. Now I’m not in the business of live event analytics, but I’ve always thought of Pittsburgh as a pretty strong wrestling market, so it seems like an odd choice. Maybe because Peterson Events is a smaller venue with a flipped camera setup, I’m not positive. Having said that, when I went to Dynamite in April, it did feel very much like a filler show. Sometimes they get into this rut where you almost know nothing massive or even really that significant is going to happen at the show and it just kills the buzz a little. I think they need to shake up their format a bit and start to lean into the chaotic “anything could happen” vibe with their non-special shows. Because as much as I love watching CM Punk vs Dustin Rhodes live in 2022, the 12 year old in me can’t help but be all giddy about a potential impromptu brawl in the crowd, or the arena, or unexpected, unannounced “dream match” off the back of a promo segment. Also, and I know I’m a broken record on this, Rampage needs to be live. It just does. Preferably live *and* two hours long. But I think we all agree on that one.


I know a few folks in the Phoenix area who are big fans who are BAFFLED that AEW seems to be avoiding running a show there. They’ve been waiting for years now. Also, El Paso seems like a slam dunk, especially with all the Lucha representation in your show. Corpus Christi too. It isn’t just a WWE market. It’s just got a lot of wrestling fans in the area.


I was debating going to the Arthur Ashe show but floor tickets were 400 dollars face and that was the end of that. AEW is burning out fans by jacking prices and running the same arenas over and over. I bet some guy in Calgary or LA would be much more likely to pay out the nose when they don’t get a show in the area every month or so.


Run PPV on the west coast where they haven't oversaturated the market.


Is them running the same areas just a logistical issue or do they not want to pay the extra money to travel to the West or Canada? TK doesn't exactly seem like someone who is particularly worried about spending excess money.


For someone from Connecticut, having a show in Bridgeport and Mohegan Sun so close to each other is too much. They’re an hour away from each other and it’s a small state. The fans will probably go to one or the other. I’m not going to either because I did Arthur Ashe this year


Tony hasn't done much to earn my money.


Oversaturated markets, prices hikes and huge inflation. They kinda asked for that in this current situation


'Day of' tickets for the last Philly show were still over 50 bucks. Sorry, not paying that to sit in shit seats in the Liacourus that literally no one else wants. If I can't get $20 tickets day of, I'm staying home at this point. Already been to 3 tapings


(a) The narrative that Meltzer only reports positive things about AEW should probably be put to rest with a report like this. (b) Tony not booking some of his most over talent \*and\* the tendency to have to re-book because of injuries and unforeseen circumstances makes buying tickets a bit of a gamble these days. Like, if you *know* you're going to get Mox, CM Punk, MJF, Danielson, FTR, Cole, Jericho, Acclaimed, Darby, Young Bucks, Kenny, Joe, Wardlow, Kingston, Britt Baker, Sting, Jeff Hardy, Miro...well, that's quite a line-up of stars. Hell, even 80% of that list would be worth shelling out money to see. But when's the last time a show featured even half of those performers on the same night? You can have valid, reasonable reasons and excuses why a show doesn't feature all those names. Again, injuries and suspensions are impossible to plan for. But...if I'm paying $50 for a ticket, those excuses don't mean shit. I'm not paying that money to see Jay Lethal or Tony Nese. I want to *know* that I'm going to be getting to see not just 1-2 of the biggest stars on the roster, I want to see a show *filled* with stars. (This is also why WCW famously did poor live show attendance even during times when WCW was at its hottest as, despite having a loaded roster of stars, Hogan and the Outsiders and Savage and others weren't regularly on house shows or even weekly TV for stretches at a time.)


“Why aren’t as many people spending hundreds of dollars to attend a wrestling show?” is a real mystery if you’ve been living in a bunker or perhaps the woods over the last few months.


Wrestling is stupid simple sometimes. But your belt on your biggest star. More tickets sell. With all due respect to Mox, Omega, Jericho, MJF, etc. - Bryan Danielson is *that* dude.


AEW's lost it's momentum and it shows on the show. WWE has apparently gotten better at stories lately but if you went back a year or more this was AEW's strong suit (in comparison to WWE) but it's weakened over time and lately the show just feels rushed in some ways. I'll give credit on last weeks rampage / this week dynamite felt a bit more slowed down but it has it's moments where it still feels rushed. A good example is what people HEAR. Excalibur has to go 100 miles/hr to rush through match announcements which IMO isn't satisfying at all to listen too. It was maybe funny initially but it's been a thing for so long now that it brings the show down in that moment - they should rethink how they deliver this information. Also personally, I'm not a fan of them picking up WWE's "open the show with a 10-15min promo" every week thing.


My guess to rectify this we will have a 7 week tournament to crown the new All Pacific Championship. Who doesn't love more belts and tournaments that take so long you forget they are happening?


Those numbers are atrocious. I feel the product just isn’t good right now and hasn’t been for some time. I’m sure there are plenty of other factors too but those numbers are worrying.


It's AEW's own fault. Danielson was at least as big of a deal as Punk when they signed, and now one is gone and they've turned the other into just another guy.


I agree. Tony Khans booking is awful.


Compared to the program last year. It´s really disappointing.


What hurts for them is now that they're established, people will compare it to how it was last year, two years ago, etc. Right now, over the past year, it's simply not as good. I think the past few weeks since All Out have been a return to form, but it takes months of that to make a real change. People plan vacations and events like concerts six-eight weeks out (also why it's a terrible idea to have four PPVs and not announce a main event until the week of lol.) Families definitely plan trips out far in advance. Without serious momentum and people planning to buy tickets weeks in advance, they start to rely on locals to buy tickets. Which is great. But when you run the same markets you dry that pool up too.


Boston tickets were very expensive. If I wanted halfway decent seats for my son and I it would have been over $800 once fees were included.


The product feels stagnant, sloppy & unpolished. There are certainly some bright spots (acclaimed) but the fact the company has clearly regressed this entire year is not a good sign. TK went from a creative solid booker the first 2 Years to just continually making ridiculous decisions this third year. -FTR, Wardlow, Starks, House of Black, Andrade, entire Womens division, Miro, etc. have all been criminally underused or misused. It honestly shocks me how he can have so much talent & misuse so much of it. Some other negatives: -Putting RoH titles on tv over AEW titles way too much -Constantly booking Indy wrestlers or other promotions with little/no story or build. Sorry, I get that hard cores may like it but most fans aren’t going to care about some guy they’ve never heard of main eventing Rampage bc he beat Moxley a year ago at a Highschool in Georgia. -Too many tournaments/gimmick matches. TK basically treats booking like a videogame sometimes; books battle royales, tournament’s, & hardcore matches obsessively. -too many titles. It’d be workable if there was more time perhaps & they showcased the champs to make the titles mean something but I’d argue every single title has been dramatically devalued in the last year. -Bad promos/storylines. I don’t know how much writing takes place in AEW or if they let wrestlers have a lot of freedom. But whatever they are doing isn’t working. *Ive loved AEW since the first year but if these trends continue it will crater within a few years. Hardcore fans will watch but that 1m weekly Dynamite rating will dip into 700k & less. My hope is that a RoH tv show will dramatically improve the company; allowing them to basically have a brand split & allow these wrestlers time to get over.


Maybe they should visit more cities than Chicago. They've been to St Louis, probably top 10 hub for indie wrestling and wrestling culture, a total 2 times.


I just think this fall/winter people aren’t spending money on things. Gas prices hit people hard all summer and now the holidays are creeping in.


Man, that Atlantic City number is brutal. Not even at a grand yet?


Maybe run more shows in the south? Went to the Nashville show in Feb and place was packed to the brim


Law of diminishing returns, AEW keeps running the same places it will eventually over saturate the market. Unfortunately (or not, depending on where you live) they need to be looking for new places to run shows. The Midwest, the Southwest and the Northwest are all virtually untouched by AEW and should be looked at for new places to put on live events.


The Toronto ticket prices are expensive plus we are getting ripped and splitting it into a two event thing in the middle of the week in a city where it’s a pain in the ass to get to. So yeah, I’m still debating on whether or not to buy tickets for dynamite for my wife and I. However the tickets I’m looking at for the aisle way entrance 3/4 up towards the stage is like 395 each?


A lot of the storylines haven't been very compelling particularly with the Elite gone and CM Punk also being suspended means they have less starpower than before. This is the end result of complacency with a bloated roster, weak storylines and shoving in ROH when there is no demand for it.


Disclaimer: I did not read everything - well, anything other than the title. I went to get tickets for the Seattle show on Jan. 4th, pre sale even - and when they went publicly live. Not a damn seat worth getting was available - matter of fact, it doesn't look too much different now as it did on the release date (a week ago). \*By not worth it - there would be travel and lodging involved. if I'm traveling and lodging, I'm going to get a decent seat *(yes, that's in the eyes of the beholder - but I dont' want to be stuck up in the bleachers thank you)* ....yes, minor vent.


He’s worried about 500 tickets?


I don’t think they ever run Orlando, but the 2 hr drive to Jacksonville doesn’t work for me, brother. The good news is that they are there all the time, so I can go if I want. I do think they are priced too high and they hit the same cities way too often. Wouldn’t hurt to have better booking and fewer titles, either


The issue is, with the exception of Canada these are all cities they have been two 7 - 8 - 9 times over the past couple years. They’ve been to LA once, I don’t know why they have a fear of crossing the Mississippi but it’s very annoying. Also the booking lately has been worse then usual, and the whole punk fiasco has been nothing but negative.


There is no interest in Rampage in Toronto because Rampage honestly is not interesting. It's not on TV, it's usually filled with predictable midcarder matches, nothing if interest usually happens, and most big stars don't appear. And this shouldn't surprise anyone that when you a book a show that poorly for so long that no one wants to go.


As someone from the area, the DC and Baltimore shows running within a month of each other really splits the market. A lot of people live equidistant from both cities and are only going to go to one. Also the venue they run in DC sucks. The building is okay but parking is a bitch and getting out afterwards blows.


They need to spend more time in the western half of the country.


A lot of talent on the sidelines or a near guarantee the best you’ll get is a 5 min promo. Why pay for that?


I skip half of the show because it's not good. Some of it is too indy-riffic or too silly, some of it needs tweaking to make it better, some of it is just too weird for the mainstream, and the storylines so wildly vary in quality that there needs to be someone who knows what they're doing reining in the worst excesses of the EVPs and creatives there.


Not being on TV has nothing to do with Rampage tickets not selling well. People don't want to pay those prices for 2 hours of Dark matches that pad the 1 hour show.


I think AEW product right now is cold. Some of it could be blame to injuries, some of it could be blame to WWE being more hotter in the last several months, but also some of it could be blame on questionable booking decisions towards certain wrestlers.


> some of it could be blame to WWE being more hotter in the last several months That's a bad excuse. WWE getting better shouldn't have any impact on what is happening in AEW.


It's the booking. It's always the booking. 1. Do we need more JAS celebrations? 2. Where is Wardlow? 3. Why are we getting Juice Robinson guest spots when guys like Malakai, Miro, and Andrade are riding the bench? 4. Where is FTR? 5. Why are we still getting Matt Hardy and Christian angles in 2022? 6. Why is a central part of the show about ROH, a promotion that does not exist? AEW is bloated and unfocused right now.


This. Hardy and Christian were good as side acts but aren't needed as a focal point of a storyline. I can't agree more on all of this. ROH is a hinderance to the whole flow of storylines on the show.