Brian James, also known as "Road Dogg" and the Senior VP of Live Events at WWE, recently offered his insights on AEW's remarkable achievement of becoming the first North American wrestling promotion since WWE to stage a stadium show in the United Kingdom.
AEW's All In event sold a staggering 60,000 tickets for the August 27th show at Wembley, a feat James openly admires. James said on his "Oh...You Didn't Know" podcast, "They've done awesomely at Wembley — that's an incredible amount of tickets sold.
From a business perspective, it's a massive success, and they deserve credit for it." Once a wrestler, James now considers the business aspect, admitting that AEW's feat feels reminiscent of the boom period around '97, signifying wrestling's resurgence.
AEW's Global Marketing Efforts
When asked if AEW was outdoing WWE in global marketing, James observed it was "comparable" but emphasized that AEW still had some ground to cover before reaching WWE's stature. He did, however, commend AEW's ambition in successfully organizing a stadium show.
When queried about advice for Tony Khan, AEW CEO, and Jeff Jarrett, AEW Director of Business Development, James said, "The question I would pose is, 'What is the limitation?' Because I will attempt everything but that." He emphasized the importance of improving every aspect of the fan experience.
James recognized professional wrestling as one of the few remaining entertainment forms reliant on live events for maximizing business potential. He credited AEW's ability to amass impressive talent, integral to staging a colossal event like All In.
He added, "Having a rival doing well prompts us to elevate our game. It's an exciting time for the business."
While James believes AEW has covered two crucial elements - time and talent - for sustaining a successful operation, he expressed uncertainty regarding the third element, team management.
"We have a capable leadership team at WWE, with the right people in the right places. I can't confidently say the same about AEW, but I haven't witnessed their operations personally, so my understanding is solely based on hearsay," he clarified.