When Tony Khan hired Jeff Jarrett last year, it was reported that one of the jobs entrusted to the TNA founder & WWE Hall of Famer would be non-televised live event, aka house shows.
AEW has only run one house show in its four years of existence, 2021’s “The House Always Wins”. Khan and others have indicated that would be changing in 2023, and sure enough, AEW announced tonight (Feb. 1) that they’ll begun running non-televised live shows under a “House Rules” banner next month.
Here’s the presser:
AEW Announces Launch of Live Events Series: “AEW House Rules”
— Intimate, Weekend Events to Kick Off in Markets Across the U.S., Starting March 18 in Troy, Ohio —
Feb. 1, 2023 – AEW CEO, GM and Head of Creative Tony Khan today announced the launch of “AEW House Rules,” a live event series taking place on select weekends in markets across the country. Continuing the promotion’s meteoric rise and following the success of “AEW: Dynamite” on Wednesdays on TBS and “AEW: Rampage” on Fridays on TNT, fans can expect an up close and personal experience at local venues along with a spectacular and engaging environment.
These non-televised, live events will showcase an electrifying mix of matchups featuring the stars of AEW. Each event offers an even more immersive experience for fans, including customized merchandise, unique ways to engage with featured talent and in-show interactions different from what is featured on televised AEW programming.
The first AEW House Rules show will take place on Saturday, March 18 in Troy, Ohio, at the Hobart Arena and will feature Ohio’s own Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, Dr. Britt Baker, Darby Allin, Orange Cassidy, and many more. Tickets for all AEW House Rules shows start at $20 plus fees and can be purchased at AEWTIX.com starting Friday, Feb. 3 at 10 a.m. ET. Further show dates will be announced in the coming weeks.
“As a lifelong fan of professional wrestling who grew up attending house shows, AEW House Rules is an exciting next step in our journey, giving fans a new level of access to top-tier professional wrestling,” said Tony Khan. “We’re always looking for meaningful ways to engage with our fans, and AEW House Rules will be a great way for them to connect with our incredible talent and experience AEW in an intimate setting.”
“The extraordinary success of AEW changed the landscape of professional wrestling as a whole, not only by providing a fresh new product, but also by raising the bar in a manner that many deemed impossible a few years ago,” said Jeff Jarrett, AEW’s Director of Business Development.
“Now as we expand to live house shows, fans can expect an innovative approach and get up close with the best talent in professional wrestling. In addition to satisfying the passions of diehard fans, we’re excited about creating new fans of all ages through these entertaining events.”
“I’m looking forward to teaming with Jeff Jarrett to oversee the expansion and growth of our live event touring schedule,” said Rafael Morffi, AEW’s VP of Live Events. “AEW House Rules ramps up our commitment to creating positive, memorable experiences for fans at our shows, and we’re thrilled to kick off the initiative on March 18 in Troy, Ohio.”
Hobart Arena holds less than 4,000. Combined with the announcement’s mention of “intimate” settings, it seems AEW will be focusing on smaller-to-midsize venues. And that’s a smart move, especially at the start.
It will be interesting to see if they can grow from there. One of the issues AEW was dealing with last year was attendance declines for their weekly shows. Some of that was attributing to running the same markets repeatedly, however, and you’d assume “House Rules” won’t be hitting cities like Philadelphia or Newark. From the graphic, it also seems like Ring of Honor will be represented at these shows, which could be more on an incentive with plans calling for ROH stories, titles and wrestlers to have a smaller role on AEW television this year.
We’ll see how it goes. What do you think about this announcement, Cagesiders?