Three necessary changes for All Elite Wrestling to shun the “WWE-lite” tag


Some people are calling AEW by the name “WWE-lite” and there are clear steps the company can take to avoid that damming moniker. 

Since its inception in 2019, All Elite Wrestling has garnered a lot of praise for being a true alternative to WWE. WWE reached levels of stagnation as the top promotion in the business in ways that had a negative impact on many, even pushing fans away entirely. That is why AEW is beloved and is a necessary component of the industry. Unfortunately, fans and media members continue to point out the ways that AEW has turned away from that early foundation and become what some call “WWE-lite.” As more calls for the company to return to its roots, these are three shifts that should happen in that direction as 2024 approaches.

Improve women’s division booking

The booking of the women’s division remains the biggest issue within AEW. Heading into the New Year, there needs to be more pressure on AEW to find equal time for the women’s division. One women’s match per show, a few segments, and featuring the same few faces each week is not a good move. As WWE continues to rebuild its women’s division and improve how they are featured across all three shows, AEW’s efforts to do the same continue to fall extremely short.

This division boasts women like Julia Hart, Toni Storm, Serena Deeb, Kris Statlander, and more. And you can’t talk about women’s wrestling without mentioning Athena. There’s too much talent within that group to not give them their just due and fans should be concerned about some of the comments Tony Khan has made when asked. This is one of the biggest and most important shifts AEW needs to make.

Clean up the championship picture

The slate of championships at AEW is overcrowded. There are currently 13 different championships within the company, including Ring of Honor. This does not include the Owen Hart Tournament Championship, nor the AEW Continental Championship to come. New Japan Pro Wrestling championships are also defended on the shows from time to time, like Eddie Kingston’s NJPW Strong Open Championship. Fans often joked that NJPW had too many belts for people to truly care, and AEW is heading in a similar direction.

Consolidation will help in a lot of ways. For example, consolidating the AEW and ROH Trios Championship is necessary, there’s no point in having two sets of those belts. In fact, some voices are calling for all the ROH titles to be folded into AEW, which would raise a question about the purpose of Honor Club, but that is a different conversation in its own right. AEW needs to consolidate this title picture and return to form when it succeeded in emphasizing belts like the tag team titles and that division as a whole.

Move away from MJF as champion

MJF has put together a strong run as AEW World Champion. But it is time to move away from him a bit at the top. Not only does the looming shoulder injury spell doom heading into AEW Worlds End, but it seems that fans are beginning to push for individuals like Swerve Strickland to reach the top of the mountain. MJF has held the title for more than a year and there doesn’t seem to be a clear picture of who could take it from him. At least that was before the match with Samoa Joe was announced. Putting Joe over opens the door for some interesting feuds and other men to eventually become champions, building momentum around new names at the top.

All Elite Wrestling has some work cut out for it to regain the momentum that’s been lost in recent months. But with so many talented names on the roster and a dedicated backstage scene, this company has all the pieces to spark excitement in wrestling again.

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