Dave Meltzer Reviews AEW's Stay in Arlington, Texas

AEW sets up shop in Texas for summer series.

by Noman Rasool
Dave Meltzer Reviews AEW's Stay in Arlington, Texas
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AEW has unveiled plans for an extended summer stint at the Esports Stadium in Arlington, Texas, announcing a series of events including the much-anticipated "AEW Collision" and this year's ROH Death Before Dishonor. The series will kick off on Saturday, July 20, and run through Saturday, August 17, culminating in AEW's high-profile return to Wembley Stadium with the AEW All In event.

According to veteran wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer, writing in today’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the choice to establish a residency in Arlington is primarily a cost-saving measure. However, Meltzer also identifies several potential advantages that could benefit AEW despite the less-than-ideal circumstances.

Meltzer suggests that if AEW can successfully innovate the venue's presentation and enhance the broadcast experience, the residency could prove advantageous. "Being in residency cuts costs of both touring and setup," Meltzer notes.

Moreover, he points out that financial support from Arlington opens a new revenue stream, akin to strategies previously employed by UFC and WWE. However, he cautions that the economic impact on local tourism might be minimal compared to major WWE pay-per-view events or UFC live shows.

One challenge that Meltzer anticipates is the difficulty AEW may face in maintaining strong ticket sales throughout the five-week period, given the prolonged stay in a single location. While lower ticket prices might be a necessity, the financial offset provided by the city's sponsorship could balance the scales.

Viewer Fatigue Concerns

Drawing parallels with "WWE NXT," Meltzer highlights the potential for a smaller, dedicated audience to generate a unique atmosphere that benefits the broadcast, though he warns of possible viewer fatigue due to over-familiarity with the venue and programming.

The ROH Death Before Dishonor event is scheduled for Friday, July 26, with the "Collision" shows continuing in their regular Saturday slots. Ticket sales for all events are set to begin on Thursday, June 6. This summer residency not only offers AEW a chance to streamline operations but also presents an opportunity to experiment with event presentation and audience engagement in ways that could shape future residencies and broadcasts in the evolving landscape of professional wrestling.

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