Bully Ray Highlights ECW's Successes Over AEW's Failures

Exploring wrestling's landscape: ECW's legacy versus AEW's progress.

by Atia Mukhtar
Bully Ray Highlights ECW's Successes Over AEW's Failures

During a recent episode of "Busted Open Radio," Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) veteran Bully Ray offered a thought-provoking critique of All Elite Wrestling (AEW). Comparing AEW's progress to the impact ECW once had on the wrestling scene, Ray highlighted ECW's ability to sway fans from larger, financially robust companies like WWE and WCW, a feat AEW is yet to achieve.

"Constant comparisons are drawn between AEW and ECW," Bully Ray observed. "ECW managed to pull fans from both WWE and WCW. We did something so unique that it forced viewers from these two major wrestling organizations to switch sides and tune into us.

This was to the extent that both WWE and WCW had to deal with 'ECW' chants on their live broadcasts. On the other hand, AEW is yet to pull off something similar. They are primarily focused on catering to their existing fanbase.

If not for Tony Khan's massive financial resources, only catering to their fans could lead to a stale product and quick financial instability."

ECW's Rise and Fall: A Recap

ECW, an independent promotion that originated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was taken over by Paul Heyman in 1993.

Under his direction, the promotion transformed from a small-scale wrestling platform to a phenomenon that won over fans across the nation. However, financial difficulties led to its dissolution in 2001, with its assets later acquired by WWE.

On the other hand, AEW seems to be making significant strides. One noteworthy event is the company's upcoming major show at London's Wembley Stadium, which has already sold nearly 75,000 tickets. However, Bully Ray is hesitant to view this as an indicator of overall success, labeling it an "anomaly" due to the company's novelty in Europe.

Bully Ray elaborated, "Among the myriad activities within AEW, Wembley seems to be the sole ultra-positive aspect. Regular followers of AEW will enjoy their weekly TV shows and appreciate their efforts. However, if they continue to cater solely to their existing fanbase, they will plateau or fail to progress." Tommy Dreamer, Bully Ray's co-host and fellow ECW veteran, offered a contrasting viewpoint.

"Selling over 74,000 tickets cannot be dismissed as an anomaly," Dreamer argued. "The actual test will be their performance if and when they return to the UK market."

Bully Ray Aew