With Double or Nothing coming up this Sunday, it’s been about two years since the official start of AEW and finally some competition for WWE.
While wrestling fans have generally taken a liking to AEW and embraced it into their lives, it hasn’t been without its critics and its problems during its short life.
But when you look at WWE, it’s not like Vince McMahon and co haven’t had their issues either, and anonymous Twitterers love getting into completely civilised and not-childish-at-all arguments about which of the two companies is better.
One thing you can’t really deny is both have their high points and low points, so we’re gonna take a fair look at five things AEW does better than WWE, but also five things WWE does better than AEW.
AEW – Fresh Matches
One particular issue that fans complain about with WWE is the number of rematches they see on week-to-week programming.
Just this past Monday, which was actually received as one of the better Raws in recent times, we saw Natalya & Tamina vs Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler for the fifth time since WrestleMania, Asuka vs Charlotte in a rematch from the previous week, Cedric Alexander vs Shelton Benjamin in a rematch from two weeks prior, and Sheamus vs Humberto Carrillo also in a rematch from two weeks prior.
AEW has no such problem – there are only a handful of matches that have happened more than once at all, never mind in close succession.
Back in November 2019, we saw Adam Page vs PAC at Full Gear and then a rematch just four nights later on Dynamite, and coming up at Double Or Nothing we’ve got Page vs Brian Cage which is a rematch from April 22.
But apart from those, the very few times AEW has done that, they’ve gotten new stipulations, like the Lumberjack match between Lance Archer and Eddie Kingston, or the upcoming Inner Circle vs Pinnacle match being a Stadium Stampede off the back of the recent Blood & Guts match.
Seeing matches we haven’t seen several times before not only keeps the product from getting boring for fans, but it also allows the talent to show off their different abilities and skillsets depending on the style of opponent they’re facing.
WWE – More Professional Production
While WWE has its production problems, mainly the 428 camera cuts every second, the company does spend a lot of money and effort making things look all nice and fancy.
Just take the ThunderDome for example. The lights, the pyro, the 3D on-screen graphics – given the situation right now, WWE shows do still look big-time even in the absence of a live crowd.
You can definitely argue that part of AEW’s charm is that it doesn’t go overboard with that kind of thing, and the atmosphere of the shows throughout the pandemic has been really great in its own right, but that side of the presentation isn’t the only thing that production includes.
Fans were very quick to criticise the ending of AEW’s Blood & Guts match, with Chris Jericho taking a bump off the cage onto a very obvious and poorly disguised crash pad.
The problem is not that Jericho fell on a crash pad, it’s that the camera shots and production made it so blatantly obvious that that’s what it was, instead of disguising it and making it look like he’d fallen on actual concrete or whatever, which really is the whole point of wrestling.
There are other elements of production that AEW does sometimes fall behind on too, like regularly throwing to commercials or picture-in-picture at the wrong times, dodgy audio, and just little things like that, that are very rare with WWE.
Another one recently was the Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch, which probably wasn’t entirely AEW’s fault, but you certainly can’t imagine WWE ending a show like that.
Look at the zombies from WrestleMania Backlash. Yes it was stupid, but you can’t deny they go all-in on the production and presentation with things like that.