- Time Limits
Now, this is not to say that matches in WWE don’t have a time limit, they of course do (how else would they know the length of the overall show for broadcasting purposes) However, they do not announce a time limit, nor would the actual time limit of their matches come close to a time that would be announced. Whereby an average match on say a Raw or a Smackdown would be around the 7-8 minute mark, we are left to believe that they have none. This can be good and bad, for example the good is that it leads more into that we wouldn’t know how long a match would go, it is supposed to be until the opponent can no longer fight back or is counted for a 3, it keeps the illusion that it’s a real fight.
On the AEW side though, it can also be good to show a more intense competitive nature. When you are told you have 10 minutes to subdue an opponent, effort would certainly increase, so, by that logic, the shear intensity of an AEW (or NJPW) match makes complete sense. They are much more high action, and where you might see 9-12 moves in a WWE match which might be slower paced, you see 20-30 moves in an AEW match. Fight or flight becomes a more important aspect.
- Free Talent Movement
Its no secret to the WWE fan that once talent walks in their door and their name in on a contract, you will not see them anywhere else, except from past matches of course.
Where in AEW, many still do wrestle other places, and on occasion their championships go with them. This is another similarity to that of the NJPW world, and to me that makes sense. Why wouldn’t you want the possibility of gaining a slightly different following from a face appearing here or there?
However the staying power of “You can only see them here” is something the WWE does have. If you want to see AJ now, you watch WWE, if you want to know if the Rock or Stone Cold is going to make an appearance, you keep your eye on WWE. So there is something to be said for the both, but still a very fundamental difference.
- Fun vs. Serious
This is of course just one opinion, but it seems that WWE likes to try and stay very serious in most of the things they do. The most recent comparisons are the WWE’s cinematics vs the likes of AEW’s Stadium match. The cinematics are filmed like a movie on a set, yes it does delve into the surreal, but it is set up in a much more serious way to AWE having a bunch of wrestlers fighting around a football stadium, with Matt Hardy being dipped in the pool and presenting a timeline of nostalgia with his past characters. The funhouse match came close, but for that to work as it did on the older fans, you had to know a lot of WWE (and WCW) history, it wasn’t really for the new fan in my eyes.
Another example of this VS is real ‘wrestling’ based characters vs Luchasaurus. WWE will tell you 100 ways to Sunday that a character like that doesn’t fit into its programming, but why? He’s great. A tremendous wrestler with a fun gimmick to boot, you are invested in him each time he steps out from the curtain, there’s always room for fun if they can back it up in the ring too right?
How many times have you seen it, there is a talented prospect in the indies, or a character you already like in the WWE itself, only for it to be changed or limited? That my friends, is down to the lack of creative the WWE roster has.
There has always been a saying way back into the WWF days that Vince’s door is always open, and it is, but that door is only really open so he in our opinion can give the illusion that there is freedom. AWE on the other hand seems and feels a lot different. Creative freedom is given to anyone who has a good idea, and they all have fun trying to make it work. If it doesn’t, they move on, but the importance here is that talent are able to get themselves over using their own creativity, and most of the time, it’s a score.
- Themed Shows actually having a theme
How many WWE fans miss waiting to see what a PPV stage is going to look like? Yeh? Us too.
I know that the backing argument for this is going to be the over to HD, and I get that, but it has taken away one of the huge look and feel aspects of each and every show they put on. Ok, so they made Raw look different to Smackdown before lockdown, and made a big deal that they had new sets, but we are now constantly inundated with video wall on every ppv bar Wrestlemania. We also don’t seem to get video wall at Rumbles anymore either, because there isn’t an entrance at all. It’s a hole in the ground with 3D graphics shoved in our face.
At least AEW still remember that if there is a theme to a show, you stick by that theme. Palm trees? Why not? Poker chips? Sure! To me, it is important to remember that, this is supposed to be based on entertainment it’s a show!
Look, we all know this stuff is predetermined, we’ve all know since we were kids, so why take away things that in my view add to the entertainment around what’s happening in the ring?
There are many more differences between the two, and I’m sure a lot of varying opinions. So let us know!
Good Chat guys