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ARE AEW FANS TOO SENSITIVE TO VALID CRITICISM?

By Dave Scherer on 2021-03-28 10:00:00

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Why are AEW fans so sensitive and indifferent to any criticism? I tweeted that they limit themselves to 750,000 to 800,000 a week. Someone tweeted back that TNT is happy and they don’t need any more viewers.  In what universe does a TV show not need more viewers? People always point out that they do great in the younger demographic which they do but shouldn’t they be attracting new viewers instead of the same ones each week?

Boy, you hit on a lot of things there!

AEW fans being sensitive.  All all AEW fans that way?  No.  Are some?  Yes, and I have had the same experience on Twitter when I make a valid criticism of the company.  I actually saw someone tweet a few weeks ago, when AEW lost 191,000 viewers the week after the Shaq-Cody match, that “they beat NXT and that’s all that matters”.  Really?  So the fact that you had 934,000 people, well above the regular average, tune in to watch the show and almost 200,000 of them chose not to tune in the next week doesn’t bother you?  You don’t see that as a big lost opportunity to convert new viewers? The fact that they had a chance to entice new people to watch their show and they didn’t like what they saw enough to come back doesn’t bother you?  And you take solace in the fact that you beat NXT, WWE’s clear number THREE brand?  If AEW Dark Elevation only lost to Raw by 50,000 viewers, do you think WWE would be proud of that?  Of course not.  Why do they say such ridiculous things?  Well, there are a lot of AEW fans who take anything negative that’s said about the promotion as a personal insult and they react in a fashion that makes them look ignorant.  There is a difference between having a differing opinion and ignoring facts, and some of them are very good at the latter.

Why are they that way? I have a few theories on that.  To be fair, a lot of people are that way about all subjects.  If you don’t share their opinion, they lose their minds.  Social media just makes that worse.  I think there are a few others reasons.  They are fans.  Fan is short for fanatic.  When some people like something a lot, they lose their ability to be fair and impartial.  They love it so it’s the best thing ever, period.  I also think that there is another element to consider.  For a lot of wrestling fans, and some reporters, AEW is exactly what they have always said that the business has needed to knock off WWE and bring in a “better” version of wrestling.  They feel that if the masses were to see that vision it would bring Vince McMahon to his knees.  AEW does all of the things that those fans want, like blood, inside lingo, shots at WWE, etc. so if AEW can’t knock off WWE, that means what they have always believed would change the business was wrong.  It would mean that what they believe wrestling should be can’t even attract half of the audience that Raw does and only about half of that in the coveted demo.  It means Vince McMahon was more right than they are, and they will fight that to the bitter end.  They don’t want to admit they were wrong and what they like has a place at the table but doesn’t attract the masses the way that Vince does.  That’s a hard pill for them to swallow because it blows the theory that they have had for years but has never been put to the test until now.

Do they need more fans to watch Dynamite? It’s always a good thing to have more viewers instead of less.  Do they need those new viewers now?  As long as TNT is happy, no they don’t.  If we get to the point where TNT isn’t happy, then that’s another issue.  If you compare year to year, AEW has less overnight viewers every month in 2021 vs. 2020.  Last I checked the over number of lost fans was over 10 percent for the year.  Erosion is never the preferred direction any TV show wants.  Viewers will leave, it’s just the way it goes.  Anyone who doesn’t think that the company needs new viewers to replace them isn’t someone anyone should take seriously.

It hurts the promotion to seek approval from people that already approve. As I said above, AEW is currently seeking out people that already love the show and marketing to them.  That is a huge mistake to me if the goal is to grow the brand.  There are some people in my position that LOVE AEW and heap effusive praise on it.  Then, there are people like Jim Cornette and, to a lesser degree myself, who don’t like a lot of things about the product and offer our criticism for Tony Khan’s consideration.  Obviously, he is a billionaire and doesn’t have to listen to us.  But as a businessman, what would you do, continually seek the adoration of people who already love what you are doing, all while your viewership is falling, or would you listen to respected people when they point out things that they think you are doing wrong, and back those opinions with solid, valid reasoning?  Me, I would do the latter.  The fans you mentioned?  Well, they would not.

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