AEW, the newest professional wrestling promotion starring Cody Rhodes, Chris Jericho, and more, is poised to make some noise.
It's been a little over two decades since the "Monday Night Wars," the competitive rivalry between WCW and WWE, which almost ended with a WCW victory. They paid their wrestlers more, and thus were able to poach many of WWE's best talents. For approximately two years in the mid-'90s, WCW's Monday Nitro beat WWE's Monday Night Raw in the ratings.
As distressing as this must have been for WWE at the time, it was a blessing in disguise in the long run. It forced the company into shark mode—advance or die. WWE pivoted away from the corny stories and the good guy/bad guy dichotomies, and instead embraced more realistic gimmicks, which were usually extensions or exaggerations of the actual performers' personalities.
And so, WWE won the war: WCW went bankrupt, WWE bought them out, and the company has dominated ever since, which some would argue has led to creative stagnancy—until now.
AEW could be WWE's first legitimate adversary in a generation, but it'll take some time to grow. Here’s everything you need to know about AEW, the brand new company poised to give WWE chairman Vince McMahon fits. The first pay-per-view under the AEW banner will broadcast live from Las Vegas on Saturday.