AEW recently announced a summer tournament for the women’s division called The Deadly Draw, which at the time I described as a “big showcase” for AEW’s women wrestlers. Well, it sounds like that big showcase will take place entirely on YouTube rather than Dynamite.
That’s what Dave Meltzer said on Wrestling Observer Radio when discussing the situation with his co-host Bryan Alvarez:
Meltzer: It’s gonna be Monday night YouTube releases.
Alvarez: So it’s not gonna be on TV?
Meltzer: No, no.
Alvarez: I thought the whole idea was it would be on TV and if it did well they would do it again next year.
Meltzer: Well I guess if it does well on YouTube, they’ll do it again next year.
Alvarez: Why don’t they do it every year if it’s just gonna be on YouTube?
Meltzer: Well if it’s a big hit it may not be on YouTube, it may be on TV, it’s just this year...I think the feeling is that they’re going into a pay-per-view and they got too much talent, and you can’t be doing two or three of these matches every week when you only have a two hour TV show. Maybe if you had that second show you could have done it, but you don’t have that second show yet, so it’s gonna be YouTube on Mondays. So there will be a YouTube release on Mondays with the tournament, there will be Dark on Tuesday, and then there will be [Dynamite] on Wednesday. It will be 7 o’clock on Monday, so it will be released before Raw starts.
There’s a big difference between being on TNT and being on YouTube, and there is no way I would have called The Deadly Draw a big showcase if I suspected it would not be on television.
It’s good for the women’s division that this tournament exists, because the division is desperate for content right now. But it’s a discouraging sign if it’s true that AEW will dump the entire tournament off to YouTube while they build to All Out over the next five weeks. That would show you where AEW’s top priorities are at in the short-term, and it’s not in their women’s division.
AEW does have a very large roster and there isn’t enough time for everyone to make it on Dynamite. But more often than not, it feels like the women’s division is disproportionately affected by that time crunch.
Will you watch The Deadly Draw if it airs on YouTube instead of Dynamite?