The confirmation that All Elite Wrestling is going ahead and appears to have a television deal in place is great news for the wrestling industry.
For almost two decades WWE has enjoyed a monopoly, dominating the business with no genuine competition in sight. AEW’s launch could finally provide the first real rival for WWE in years, which could revitalise the scene worldwide. Fingers crossed.
Others have tried and failed to knock WWE off its perch, with some coming closer than others. Here is a look back at those that tried. Some of them even succeeded . . . briefly.
Here’s hoping that AEW learns lessons from their respective successes and failures.
After departing Impact Wrestling, Jeff Jarrett attempted to keep himself relevant by announcing the launch of his own promotion, Global Force Wrestling. His idea was to form “strategic partnerships” which other groups worldwide, which included AAA, NJPW and several European promotions.
Unfortunately those relationships soon soured when various promises were not met, with a fallout with New Japan in particular causing long-term bad blood between the two parties.
Prior to the collapse, Jarrett taped several TV shows called Amped, which sat dormant for two years with no station interested in airing them. GFW became something of a bad joke in the eyes of the industry. It was a promotion without a roster, that did not run shows and had no TV deal.
Then Jarrett pulled off a masterstroke, sweet talking beleaguered Impact chief Ed Nordholm into rebranding TNA/Impact as GFW, which gave him a position of power in the company. Nordholm also agreed to air the severely dated Amped shows. It was masterful.
Alas, the union lasted for all of five minutes before Jarrett was forced to leave the group again, leading to Impact abandoning the GFW name and seemingly killing it off for good.
Think again. Jarrett exhumed the battered brand in 2018, plastering the name all over the production of FITE TV’s Starrcade broadcast over All In weekend and having a hand in the NWA 70th Anniversary Show. GFW lives, but it is not – and never has been – anything close to approaching a threat to WWE.