The growth of the AEW roster has prompted a lot of debate among wrestling fans.
On the plus side, rotating talent in and out of storylines gives them more time off, and keeps their characters fresh. The flip side of that coin is that it can be hard to generate and keep momentum when you’re not regularly featured. That’s particularly a problem for younger performers that don’t already have a connection with the audience.
It’s an issue Tony Khan’s brain trust is aware of. Arn Anderson was asked about it on a recent of his podcast ARN. Here’s what he said:
“I agree 100%. My son [Brock Anderson] being one of those, if you remember correctly, his debut match was being partnered with Cody. They had a really good match with QT and one of the other kids, but it’s been so far back, nobody remembers it. He had his three or four weeks.”
Anderson said he understands what TK is trying to do, and supports it. The WWE Hall of Famer also recognizes you can’t pass up signing big name stars when they become available, and this is what happens when you do. But he still thinks they need to figure out this issue so it doesn’t derail younger wrestlers:
“Now to his defense because people get sick of me singing Tony Khan’s praises, but his intention is, because now he’s assembled quite a hell of a talent roster, to try to get everybody exposed. If you get one week or two weeks, and then they move on, I get exactly what you’re saying. In order to get a person over, you have to have about eight or 10 or 12 straight weeks of good TV. Now I am invested in this guy. Tony knows what he wants out of the shows. We support him 100%. I do agree that talent doesn’t get exposed. Dante Martin is a very special kid. He got springs like nobody else in the business. Just a short time back he had two or three or four really, really good weeks, and then now they disappeared down to Dark. It’s a dilemma that we have. We will figure it out.
“But when you’re bringing in Daniel Bryan, you’re bringing in CM Punk, and no matter what you’ve done prior to that, that’s going to kind of push everybody else down a notch because those guys cost a heap of money to employ. When you bring them in, they’re going to take precedence over anything else you had going on. That’s the dilemma that we have. We will figure it out because Tony’s intentions are giving people who are avid wrestling fans and intelligent folks what they want.”
The addition of Ring of Honor to Khan’s portfolio might help with this problem. But we thought the same thing when Rampage debuted, and that show’s been around for eight months and AEW’s still trying to figure it out — partly because the roster keeps growing.
Let us know what you think the answer is, if there is one, in the comments below.