AEW's groundbreaking achievement with the All In 2023 extravaganza at Wembley Stadium, London, drew a staggering crowd of 81,000 fervent fans, etching a monumental chapter in the company's history. However, the fevered anticipation that often accompanies an upcoming event like AEW All Out seems to be simmering down.
This juxtaposition of fervour can be attributed to a confluence of factors, including last-minute match bookings after All In and the company's back-to-back pay-per-view approach. Wrestling luminary Bully Ray, renowned for his WWE Hall of Fame status, has offered insights into this developing situation, raising concerns that AEW might be inadvertently overloading its enthusiastic fan base, leading to potential burnout that's already manifesting.
In a recent instalment of the "Busted Open" podcast, Bully Ray candidly discussed this intriguing scenario, shedding light on AEW's apparent loss of traction among a demographic that's traditionally avid about the promotion.
He pondered the feasibility of sustaining such a rapid succession of major events, pointing to the attendance at a recent Dynamite show. His observations were bolstered by firsthand accounts from callers on the "After Dark" segment, who echoed the sentiment that the turnout was lackluster and unimpressive, especially given the significance of the locale - Chicago, a city renowned for its passionate wrestling community.
Ray emphasized the anomaly of Chicago, a wrestling haven, experiencing a noticeable dip in enthusiasm, highlighting how AEW's scheduling might be at play.
Dampened Anticipation and Match Shortcomings
Acknowledging the local hero CM Punk's suspension for All Out as a potential factor dampening the anticipation, Ray underscored another key aspect contributing to the perceived tepidness: the absence of marquee matches coupled with compelling narratives.
He noted that the absence of a match compelling enough to command an "appointment viewing" status is evident, exemplified by the Samoa Joe versus Shane Taylor bout. While Ray himself acknowledges the allure of this match-up, he questioned whether it possesses the magnetic pull necessary to glue audiences to their screens in a must-see fashion.
As the wrestling community eagerly awaits AEW's next move, the cautionary perspective shared by Bully Ray raises pertinent questions about the careful balance between maintaining the momentum of successive events and ensuring that the quality of matches, storytelling, and engagement remains steadfast.
The imminent All Out 2023, now under scrutiny, will reveal whether AEW can mitigate the signs of potential burnout and continue to deliver riveting content that captures hearts and sustains interest.