Are AEW Pay Per Views Worth It? New Schedule Puts Business At Risk

Hamish Woodward

All Elite Wrestling has quickly risen to become the second-biggest wrestling company in the world, less than five years after starting their journey.

Founded by Tony Khan, with the help of Cody Rhodes, The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho, AEW became an alternative for fans who grew tired of the WWE, and wanted to sample another form of wrestling.

This included new wrestlers, new styles of wrestling, mixed with old school storytelling, the return of classic match types (such as the Texas Death Match), and even the return of the pay per view model.

WWE had abandoned pay per views in 2014 when they launched their “WWE Network”. Instead of selling shows for $50 a pop through traditional methods, they created their own Netflix-like streaming service to become the home of pro wrestling.

This included their entire back catalog of shows, as well as streaming their newest pay per views live, for no extra cost.

While this has worked fantastically for Vince McMahon, Tony Khan could not afford the same luxury. AEW were a brand-new company. They were still getting off the ground, and did not have the thousands of hours of taped content to entice viewers in with, nor a robust streaming service of which to show it on.

Much to the shock of the wrestling world, AEW went back in time to the old “TV and PPV” model that helped make the WWE the biggest wrestling company in the world.

And you know what? It worked.

Despite many being doubtful that fans would go back to spending $50 on wrestling events again, AEW PPV’s were a huge hit. They quickly grew their sales to over 100,000 per show, making an extra $20 million for their four shows per year.

With the birth of AEW Dynamite on TNT and the huge growth of the company, PPV sales skyrocketed. AEW All Out 2021 (which featured the debut match of CM Punk in AEW) drew over 200,000 PPV buys and changed the face of wrestling as we knew it.

CM Punk’s debut helped draw AEW’s biggest ever pay per view buys number.

As the years have gone on, AEW grew and grew. They added two more weekly TV shows (Rampage on Fridays, and Collision on Saturdays) as well as filling their calendar with even more events.

Adding to the original four PPV’s (Revolution, Double or Nothing, All Out and Full Gear), they brought in Forbidden Door in 2022, combining the talents from AEW and NJPW for a huge cross-promotion super show.

In 2023, they resurrected the All In name for AEW’s debut show in the United Kingdom. Over 80,000 fans flocked to Wembley Stadium to see the show, which now ranks as the biggest wrestling show of all time.

Tony Khan also announced WrestleDream to take place in October 2023, paying tribute to the late, great Antonio Inoki. This will be the seventh PPV in the AEW calendar, with rumors that Warner Brothers want AEW to add five more show, giving them one pay per view event per month.

This seems like a lot to many fans. With the $50 price point, many US-based fans cannot justify paying $600 per year just to watch AEW’s biggest shows, no matter that quality.

However, others are saying that the shows are a guaranteed hit, with some of the best matches of all time taking place on them.

Are the AEW PPV’s worth the price of admission?

Are AEW PPV’s Worth It?

AEW Pay Per Views always bring you a fantastic night of professional wrestling action, and are definitely worth the price you pay.

It is a very rare occurrence that an AEW PPV will disappoint. They are usually jam-packed with huge matches between all of AEW’s top wrestlers, who also just happen to be among the greatest wrestlers in the world.

While some matches can be hit or miss (and what wrestling event doesn’t have those matches?), AEW pay per view events are usually very consistent in their match quality.

The company always relies on its big stars to put on a performance, while also giving younger, less established stars the chance to put on a great show in front of a hot crowd.

With main events usually involving the likes of Kenny Omega, Jon Moxley or MJF, you know that you are in for a brilliant match that will keep the crowd on its feet for the entire bout. Very rarely has a main event match in AEW disappointed, and when it has, it is not down to the wrestlers (The Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match at AEW Revolution 2021 being the key example).

The one issue fans may have with the AEW PPV’s is a lack of finality. WWE have WrestleMania, the biggest event in wrestling and their most anticipated show of the year.

Every April, the best and brightest in wrestling come together to put a show like no other. Within the spectacle are hard-fought matches, telling stories that are finally coming to an end in front of stadiums full of wrestling fans.

Everybody knows that, with few exceptions, WrestleMania marks the end of the year in wrestling. Once it is over, fans can look forward to seeing brand brand-newnew stories, with different match ups after the fallout of WrestleMania.

AEW lacks this. They have no “main” PPV for the fans to latch onto. Each one is its own self-contained event, not building up to any further story-ending show down the line.

This can make every show seem huge, or it can take the shine off them slightly. WWE makes hundreds of millions of dollars by building their yearly calendar around WrestleMania, something AEW could clearly take inspiration from.

It looks like Tony Khan could be setting up All In in London’s Wembley Stadium as his “main” pay per view event for AEW, although time will tell on that front.

AEW PPV Price

The $50 price tag for AEW PPV’s is one of the main sticking points for fans looking to get into wrestling.

When WWE dropped their high price point for PPV’s, in favor of a $9.99 all-access pass to the WWE Network, it almost killed the pay per view model forever.

Other companies, like TNA and ROH, could not afford to run their own streaming service at a loss. They were forced to continue to run their shows on PPV, despite the outcry from fans.

With the WWE charging less than $10 to watch their biggest shows, how could any fans justify $50 to watch a much lower-quality (production-wise) product? WWE tried to kill the wrestling market beneath it with this move, and almost did – until AEW managed to claw its way back into selling $50 pay per views.

Perhaps the smartest thing Tony Khan did with these big events was how infrequent they were. While many fans could not justify $50 a month on wrestling, making the specials four times a year really eased the burden on the fans wallets.

The lack of shows also made each one feel special, and allowed a more focused and interesting build up to some of the matches fans were most excited to see.

AEW also drew the fans in with big signings like CM Punk, Bryan Danielson and Adam Cole, to further help entice fans to part with their cash to buy the AEW PPV’s.

FAQs

How Many AEW PPV’s Are There A Year?

There are currently seven pay per view events planned for AEW in 2023, although there are rumors that AEW will be adding five more shows in the future, giving them twelve PPV events on the schedule.

How Much Do AEW Pay Per Views Cost?

In the United States, AEW pay per views cost $50 to view through Bleacher Report, or through traditional pay per view providers. In the UK, Fite TV hosts AEW PPV’s, charging around £15 to watch them live, and on-demand in the future.

Will AEW Be On HBO Max?

AEW is not yet confirmed to be on HBO Max yet, even though the streaming service recently announced a new sports tier to its app. It is likely AEW PPV’s, as well as on-demand TV shows, will be included on HBO Max in the near future.

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