Can AEW Dethrone WWE in the UK Market in 2021?

Published 02/08/2021, 6:44 AM EST


WWE has been the hegemon of the wrestling industry for as long as one can remember. For years, the Vince McMahon led promotion wielded unhinged power over the American market and slowly spread its dominance into UK and Asia as well.

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However, AEW has made serious headway into the industry, emerging as WWE’s biggest threat since WCW in the 90s. Tony Khan’s venture has already overtaken NXT on most occasions in viewership and aims to cross the one million viewership market soon. 

TOKYO,JAPAN – AUGUST 11: Jon Moxley looks on during the New Japan Pro-Wrestling G1 Climax 29 at Nippon Budokan on August 11, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images)

That being said, AEW aims to globalize its product to achieve an equivalent brand name as WWE. Not many people outside the sphere of AEW know ab0ut the company just yet and this could be a key factor.

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AEW aims to make a big splash in UK

The promotion turned a lot of heads when Cody Rhodes announced that AEW was aiming to host a major PPV in the United Kingdom, a country that has been loyal to WWE and its product for decades. 

The wrestling fans in the UK have been eagerly anticipating a major WWE PPV but have not been given one since SummerSlam 1992. The 28-year gap has probably made some fans restless, which makes AEW a viable alternative to WWE’s promise. 

The rival promotion has key names in the wrestling industry such as Kenny Omega, Cody Rhodes, Chris Jericho, Jon Moxley, and the like, and continues to build on an excellent reputation of weekly content. 

Its collaboration with other promotions such as Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide and NJPW has ensured a great relationship between AEW and its rivals that are now actually working together. 

The exciting cross-promotional content may be something that worries Vince McMahon since he firmly restricts his Superstars to WWE-related content only. 

PARIS, FRANCE – MAY 19: Sasha Banks (L) in action vs Bayley during WWE Live AccorHotels Arena Popb Paris Bercy on May 19, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)

AEW has already begun moving into the Asian market

If AEW captures the UK fanbase, it would be a huge headway into the completion. Through its big collaborations with NJPW, AEW is already moving into the Indian market and is slowly but surely reaching the Indian fanbase as well. 

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OSAKA, JAPAN – JUNE 09: Chris Jericho enters the ring during the Dominion 6.9 In Osaka-Jo Hall of NJPW on June 09, 2019 in Osaka, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)

All this has made WWE scramble for its strongholds, delivering on Superstar Spectacle in India and also reportedly planning to set up a developmental center in the country. 

The UK fan base is currently pro-WWE due to the presence of Drew McIntyre, a Scotsman, as the WWE Champion and face of the company. They eagerly wait to see him fight on home soil in what could potentially be one of the biggest PPVs in WWE history. 

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Luke Dias

1314 articles

Luke Dias is a senior WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports, having published more than 1000 articles on professional wrestling. Having completed courses in Advanced Writing from the University of California and Media and Ethics from the University of Amsterdam, Luke is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Journalism from Xavier’s College. His tremendous knowledge of WWE history enables him to make past connections, adding depth to the articles.

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