The ‘BOOM’ in professional wrestling
By Nate Kaiser
Professional wrestling is in yet another boom of popularity. 2019 has brought new companies, new television deals, and new wrestlers which have revolutionized the business. Since its explosion in the 60’s and 70’s and its peak of popularity in the late 90’s, professional wrestling has become a household name on numerous television networks.
In the late 90’s, television ratings were the sole decider on which company was drawing more fans to their product. Today, companies like World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), All Elite Wrestling (AEW), Impact Pro Wrestling, and many more run on major television networks. This surplus of wrestling has brought the rating wars back to the limelight. Taking a look week to week will prove which company is producing the most captivating shows and drawing the most fans to their product.
Although viewership may not be as high as it once was, now is the perfect time to give wrestling another chance. The days of cartoon character champions are gone, replaced by in-depth characters who thrive on emotions and making it to the top. Additionally, the way matches are presented has changed entirely. Old-style, slow-paced matches have been pushed aside by high-octane, fast-paced matches focused on the athletic ability of the wrestlers.
Promotions like AEW that are in direct competition with WWE put more emphasis on wins and losses. They determine who will be contenders for championship belts based on their win-loss record. The win-loss record is a new concept that not a lot of promotions have adopted, so the coming weeks will prove if the move will be beneficial or not.
The promotions to keep an eye on include: WWE, NXT, AEW, Impact Pro wrestling, and the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). These are the most prominent companies right now, and have the most available ratings and storylines to analyze.
WWE runs “Monday Night Raw” live every Monday on the USA network. They also run “Friday Night Smackdown” live every Friday night on Fox. NXT airs every Wednesday on USA too, but it is viewed as a “minor league” to the other WWE shows, therefore NXT is considered a competitor show to RAW or Smackdown.
AEW is the newest company to contended with WWE and is their biggest competition to date. They run live every Tuesday night on TNT and have the most financial backing of any of the other lower-tier companies. Impact Pro wrestling runs on Thursday nights on AXS, and the NWA is broadcasted live on YouTube, but has picked up many streams for their retro-style production.
From week to week, we will analyze the current storylines and highlight the top wrestlers from each company. Along with this, we will compare the weekly viewership from each show based off of their television ratings, and then order the shows by popularity.
The stage is set, the lights are on, and the cameras are live, meaning the war between wrestling companies has started again. The future is bright for the wrestling business, but the battle has just begun.