The COVID-19 pandemic took over the entire world last year and that included the world of pro wrestling. Many plans were scrapped in various promotions and there was no longer any live audience. This was the case for AEW as well, but they managed to carry on despite the pandemic and regularly put on shows.
While speaking to Chris Jericho on the Talk Is Jericho podcast, AEW President and CEO Tony Khan talked about AEW’s performance in 2020. The two talked about how the business was effected due to the pandemic. Then Khan mentioned how the television numbers for AEW were actually up despite the lack of a live audience.
Khan then claimed that AEW Dynamite is the only TV show that can actually say it has better numbers. He credited their hard work and creativity for the increase in numbers.
“There’s definitely been a lot of positives and a ton of negatives of this pandemic, and live attendance has been a huge negative in terms of the wrestling,” Khan pointed out. “There are so many huge negatives in terms of the life impact that you don’t even want to think about the wrestling impact when it comes to the pandemic, but just to talk about the business, it definitely affected live events, but from a TV standpoint, we’re actually stronger than where we left off.
“We’re the only wrestling show on television that can say that, and it’s a testament to what we’ve done. Our creativity and what we’ve done in terms of presenting the show as exciting as what it was before the pandemic, you’ll never be able to replace the thousands and thousands of people we had every single week when we were live every week in a different arena and a different city every week for the months we were doing the show before the pandemic happened. But after the pandemic happened, really, we banded together, worked hard and put together some of our best shows ever, which is pretty cool.”
AEW ‘s current partnership with Impact Wrestling and now NJPW has certainly changed the landscape of pro wrestling as a whole. It will be interesting to see what else they have in store for fans.
h/t to Wrestling Inc for the quotes.