The Blue Meanie is no stranger to the world of upstart wrestling companies. Having been a part of Extreme Championship Wrestling during the promotion’s early days, he knows a thing or two about the issues that face a new company trying to find its footing in the industry, while simultaneously trying to compete with the big dogs on television.
The former Blue World Order stalwart recently spoke to Wrestling Inc. about the challenges that lie ahead for newcomer All Elite Wrestling. As The Inquisitr reported earlier this week, the company’s two-hour weekly live show is set to air on TNT this October, but the ECW legend says that’s when the real hard work will begin.
The Blue Meanie believes that keeping fans interested in the product when the company becomes a weekly television fixture will be their biggest challenge, as they’ll have less time to prepare for their events.
“The only real test I see them facing is when they go to weekly television. They’ve had these couple of months where they have five [or] six months in-between to promote. People from all over the world get a chance to save up and take vacation time to see these two events. But now the challenge is getting those same fans to come out every week with the TV show. Will they still be able to do the 10,000 or 13,000-seat arenas? How will that translate to television?”
Meanie — who also spent time in WWE — thinks that putting on live television shows and pay-per-views will be a huge learning experience for the company. He told Wrestling Inc. that this element of AEW’s presentation could use some work, and it’s something the company needs to improve going forward if they’re going to be successful on TNT.
The former ECW wrestler recalled his time in WWE and how the production team was always editing on the fly. In addition, wrestlers were expected to be flexible due to the demands of performing on live television. According to Meanie, matches and segments have a tendency to go over or under their designated time slots, which then results in other segments having to be cut or extended. In the heat of those moments, everyone involved must think outside of the box.
— WrestlingINC.com (@WrestlingInc) July 27, 2019
Meanie also noted how last year’s All In pay-per-view — which marked the spiritual beginning of AEW — almost went off the air before the main event was over. ECW’s first pay-per-view, Barely Legal, faced similar challenges, as the performers weren’t used to the live format.
However, Meanie is also confident that AEW will succeed in the long run. In the interview, he calls the company’s founders “smart guys” and shares his excitement about having a notable alternative to WWE on the scene.