There’s been significant online discussion about AEW and potential factors that might be driving some fans away. While the company has made strides in improving its production and addressing criticisms from fans and wrestlers, there’s a sense that some goodwill has been lost.

During the recent episode of the Extreme Life of Matt Hardy podcast, the former AEW star, who recently left the promotion, discussed some areas where AEW could improve.

He mentioned that AEW had garnered a lot of goodwill in its early years, particularly during the pandemic when it served as a unique alternative to WWE. However, he felt that recent incidents involving CM Punk, The Young Bucks, Jack Perry, and their backstage conflicts might have eroded some of that goodwill, potentially leading some fans to withdraw their support.

“AEW earned a lot of goodwill over the first few years, especially during the pandemic and being a different alternative to WWE, whatever else, but I think through some of the stuff with Punk and The Bucks and the fights and the backstage stuff and Jungle Boy all this stuff, this hurt some of that goodwill. I feel like that probably deterred some people from their support of the company at the end of the day. I mean, that’s my honest take on it.”


The former ECW champion also offered suggestions on how AEW could attract more fans, emphasizing the need to appeal to casual viewers. While acknowledging AEW’s focus on delivering high-quality matches, he suggested that the company could benefit from showcasing big stars and creating storylines that appeal to a broader audience.

“I think that you have to appeal to more casual fans. I mean, I understand your mindset where AEW is built on the context of having great matches and having five star matches and bangers and whatever else since the place is very wrestling heavy. If you love wrestling, where the best wrestle, you know, they’ve even used that as a catchphrase, and I’m okay with that, but I still also think there has to be people that are just casual wrestling fans that are trained in the way like, ‘Oh, well this guy’s a big star. I’d like to see him perform. I would like to see him wrestle. I’d like to see her wrestle. I’d like to see this. I’d like to see that.’ I feel like that would be beneficial. I feel like sometimes AEW plays and caters to too much of a niche audience sometimes and I think they just need to broaden who they play to sometimes.”

AEW received immense backlash recently for airing the backstage footage from the controversial AEW All-In event. So we will have to wait and see if they decide to take some of Matt Hardy’s suggestions to rework their approach and attract more viewers to their product.

What are your thoughts on Matt Hardy’s belief that AEW is driving away fans with its practices? Sound off in the comments!

Tags: Matt Hardy
Nikunj Walia

Nikunj Walia is a versatile creative professional renowned for his out-of-the-box thinking. With a knack for innovation and adaptability, he excels across diverse niches. From content creation to event hosting, digital expertise, and Indian influencing, Nikunj aims to carve a distinctive identity for himself. His mission? Revolutionizing how wrestling content is consumed, one groundbreaking idea at a time.

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