By Scott Keith on 16th November 2023
Would you agree two of the biggest things hurting AEW right now is there inability to build up younger talent and really catch lighting in bottle with one of their babyface wrestlers? Originally the motto was AEW was gonna be the place you would see young fresh faces get the chance to become stars. And I think for the first couple years they did a good job of living up to the motto. But once the ratings dipped a bit and Tony had to start bringing in the ex WWE people, it seems like those young names started getting sacrificed to put the free agents over. Guys like Wheeler, Garcia, and Powerhouse Hobbs were regularly built up to eventually put over a CM Punk or Daniel Bryan. You would always hear oh they didn't lose anything by not going over, but it's been 3 years later and none of those guys have done much. They def aren't elevated higher on the card. Look at Hook and Willow, two young stars they should be a big deal now but are either treading water or in the same spot. Which has led to Tony having to rely on even more older names. There are a couple diamonds in the rough like Julia Hart, but not enough to really install confidence that Tony can build a star from the ground up.
And the lack of babyfaces might be the biggest problem. Hangman was the guy the first two years, but after a bunch of drama and a lackluster title run, I don't think he ever gets as hot as he was. Look at Cody and LA Knight, their quests for gold are putting WWE's business metrics at an all time high. Just like the Yes movement back in the day. AEW got a little close with Cole and MJF, but they jumped the shark pretty quickly in my book. And while MJF has been great as a face, I still the think the money is him being a heel. You need fans who will ride or die for their favorites, which is how Becky got so popular, but I just don't see anyone close to being the person. I would say Wardlow before thr MJF match was the last person that got close to that.
I would tend to agree but with much less words.