In a recent episode of "Busted Open," Bully Ray delved into the divergent storytelling approaches of All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and WWE. While acknowledging that both promotions have distinct visions, Bully Ray offered his insights, expressing overall satisfaction with AEW's recent creative developments.
He particularly commended the impact of a new backstage addition at AEW, who played a role in the evolving storytelling landscape.
Bully Ray's Assessment of AEW's Storytelling Duration
Bully Ray characterized AEW's storytelling as surface-level, akin to the tip of an iceberg, whereas he described WWE's approach as delving deep beneath the surface.
While AEW's recent episode of "Dynamite" left several intriguing questions unanswered, such as the potential alliance between Chris Jericho and Don Callis for the upcoming Blood & Guts event, Bully Ray doesn't anticipate AEW to embark on lengthy storylines that span years.
Nevertheless, he believes that a bit more than short-term narratives or pay-per-view-to-pay-per-view stories would benefit AEW, highlighting the seeds planted in the recent episode to lay the groundwork for potential future storylines.
Bully Ray attributed these positive developments to the involvement of Jimmy Jacobs, a newly appointed producer at AEW. With his extensive experience as a five-time Ring of Honor World Tag Team Champion and past roles as a writer and producer in WWE and Impact Wrestling, Jacobs has injected fresh ideas into AEW's creative process.
It is worth noting that Bully Ray has been vocal in his criticisms of AEW in the past, ranging from issues with referees and production to storytelling and character development. However, he saw the recent episode of "Dynamite" as a step in the right direction.
Disagreeing with co-host Dave LaGreca, Bully Ray clarified that it wasn't a significant leap forward but a positive sign, as he observed elements that could lead to more substantial storylines. However, Bully Ray continued to critique Tony Khan's booking methods.
He argued that AEW's constant focus on appeasing its core fanbase could hinder its long-term growth. Bully Ray emphasized the need for AEW to think outside the box in terms of matches and crafting narratives that appeal to non-AEW fans, WWE fans, and casual wrestling enthusiasts.
Without broadening its storytelling horizons consistently, Bully Ray expressed concerns that AEW's success would eventually plateau, irrespective of its financial resources. Ultimately, Bully Ray urged AEW to expand its storytelling repertoire beyond catering exclusively to its current fanbase.
He emphasized the importance of appealing to a broader audience to ensure the promotion's sustained growth instead of targeting the loyal viewership of 800,000 to 900,000 fans that tune in weekly. He emphasized that although AEW may have considerable financial backing, it must display a more diverse and captivating booking style to secure a lasting impact in the industry.