Adding More AEW Pay-Per-Views Is A Good Thing

1/1/2024 5:34 AM

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Adding More AEW Pay-Per-Views Is A Good Thing

Adding More AEW Pay-Per-Views Is A Good Thing

January 1, 2024 5:34 AM
Adding More AEW Pay-Per-Views Is A Good Thing
AEW News

Why additional pay-per-views of AEW is benefical to the product.

Since day one, the pay-per-view model for AEW has always been at four events per year. It was a unique concept that had plenty of potential. It especially helped that AEW was on a massive roll during its inception by producing some incredible shows. 

However, all that’s changed in 2024. At least on the tail end. Instead of the usual suspects - Revolution, Double or Nothing, All Out, Full Gear - three more shows were added to the calendar year. Though it does seem like an overwhelming amount of shows are dangerously flooding the AEW market, adding yearly shows for the new promotion is a good thing. 

The Quality Of Pay-Per-Views Were Ruined Because Of The Match Quantity

Given the $50 per month charge, four pay-per-views a year was a smart idea. As previously stated, these shows were worth the investment overall. It was rare to leave an AEW pay-per-view with a bad taste in your mouth. The quality of the shows was never in question. On the flip side, the quantity is. 

Most notably, AEW pay-per-views have terrible time management and feature too many matches. Notoriously, All Out 2022 had 15 matches on the ENTIRE card. Adding more shows onto the calendar helps Tony Khan space out his roster and not force that many matches on a single card ever again. 

Highly anticipated matches such as Jade Cargill vs. Athena and Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Ricky Starks were short-changed because there was simply too little time. More importantly, fans tend to feel exhausted when the main event rolls around.

 The reason Triple H’s five/six match line-up is so effective is because it allows those matches on the card enough time to shine. Plus, these shows are typically done within three hours, leaving you excited over what’s to come instead of feeling drained by the experience. 

The Four Pay-Per-View Model Was A Missed Opportunity

But having too many matches on the card wasn’t the only issue. In fact, it's a minor issue since AEW shows tend to have positive buzz once it's all said and done. The four pay-per-views aspect was often harmed by the lack of proper build towards it. Some shows are hit and miss when it comes to the build, but it’s been noticeable that creative doesn’t start the build to their premium events until a few weeks before the show.

Ideally, the four-pay-per-view structure would’ve allowed longer storytelling as it’s been a notable ingredient for AEW’s success early in the company’s run. But creative does fail to tell a long-form story across the entire card. With a two/three month gap, that can be challenging, but that was the purpose of shows like Fight for the Fallen or Winter is Coming; they were supposed to be mini events on television that offset the big pay-per-views.

In a way, they’re still treated in that same light. But oftentimes, they’re built as regular Dynamite episodes that have the special television name attached to them. Honestly, the four-pay-per-view model just hasn’t worked much for AEW’s creative. Spreading out the card with six shows per year allows them to better focus on the storytelling aspects because the target date isn’t so far away.

Is this indicative of creative when they’re unable to properly build long-term stories for their Big Four pay-per-views? Yes, but writing IS hard. It’s not an easy feat to write five hours of programming non-stop throughout the year. Perhaps making the shows seven (or possibly more) times a year is the answer to some of their issues.

It Can Also Help Rotate The Names On Their Huge Roster

AEW has a HUGE roster. Over 120 activate wrestlers to be exact. However, Tony Khan has his favorites that he likes to feature every week: Jon Moxley, Bryan Danielson, Kenny Omega, Chris Jericho, MJF, and The Young Bucks are the main culprits. This has effectively hindered the pay-per-views because Tony Khan hasn’t diversified his roster.

The guys mentioned above are great and it’s understandable why they get so much television time. But do they NEED to be on EVERY since pay-per-view? MJF is the exception because he’s the AEW World Champion; but when guys like Miro, Lance Archer, Eddie Kingston, Andrade, Ethan Page, Johnny TV, or Keith Lee are mostly sitting on the sidelines then there’s a clear problem with the way Tony Khan books his roster. 

You can push multiple names on the roster. Rotating between the massive divisions allows for fresh stories to take place, and more talents to get over, which will translate to bigger pay-per-view buys. Having guys like Moxley or Jericho off one show makes their appearances and matches special. I’m not saying that they should have the Roman Reigns treatment, but these guys are stars, so they don’t need the television time as much as most of the names mentioned above. 

There are still drawbacks to expanding the pay-per-view model beyond four. The price tag is still way too expensive and hopefully, these events are spaced out evenly throughout the year. However, a possible seven pay-per-view cycle can genuinely come out of this as it (hopefully) gives Tony Khan more discipline when constructing shows and better time management.