In a recent episode of his popular Extreme Life podcast, AEW veteran Matt Hardy offered his in-depth analysis of the potential implications of All Elite Wrestling (AEW) contemplating an expansion to its pay-per-view (PPV) model.
Hardy commenced his discourse by praising AEW's current approach to storytelling, which doesn't succumb to the pressures of hastily concocting narratives for monthly PPV events. According to him, the meticulous nature of AEW's storytelling serves as a strong foundation for their success.
"AEW is exceptional because our matches are underpinned by well-crafted narratives, building tension and imbuing each contest with significance. This historical context, the reasoning for the conflict, and the audience's investment in the outcome are what makes pro wrestling special," Hardy explained.
Hardy Highlights Prestige in Rarity
Drawing parallels with WWE's iconic 'big four' events - Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series - Hardy highlighted how having fewer but more monumental PPVs can elevate their prestige.
"Those major PPVs felt colossal, and fans regarded them as such, amplifying their perceived value. With monthly PPVs, you're forced to accelerate storytelling, which could undermine the narrative buildup we strive for," Hardy cautioned.
However, Hardy didn't dismiss the idea of a monthly PPV model outright. He suggested that AEW's extensive roster could support more frequent major events, generating higher revenue. He proposes to alternate PPV events between the Dynamite and Collision rosters.
"If you're consistently producing high-quality PPVs regularly, the monetary benefits are undeniable," Hardy asserted. "We could potentially keep things fresh by alternating monthly PPVs. For instance, January could be a Dynamite-centered PPV, February a Collision-centered one, etc.
This approach would maintain novelty and interest, and even present opportunities for a grand 'Dynamite vs. Collision' showdown, turning it into the 'World Series' of pro wrestling." In conclusion, while Hardy acknowledged the potential for more frequent PPVs, he underscored the necessity to preserve the essential elements of compelling storytelling.
This dual focus could indeed define the future of AEW's PPV model, balancing audience engagement, narrative depth, and financial gains.