Factions are a key part of AEW’s booking, but why do they have so many?
With groups like The Elite, the Blackpool Combat Club and the Inner Circle, AEW has had no shortage of top-class factions in their five years in business.
Stars have been made in these groups, with some even going on to win the AEW Championship after leaving their factions.
In this article, we’ll explore why AEW have so many factions, and explain the booking philosophy behind having so many groups.
Why Does AEW Have So Many Factions?
AEW has lots of factions because it helps keep more wrestlers involved in storylines, without wrestling every week.
The idea was inspired by Japanese wrestling, where factions have been a key part of storytelling for decades.
Nearly all the wrestlers will be split into different groups, with the groups facing off against each other in a variety of matches.
While AEW doesn’t have as many groups, it still used the factions it does have to great advantage.
By have one faction feud with another, it makes it easier to tell stories with huge variation on what can be told.
It offers fresh match-ups between talent from different factions, while still helping progress the storylines on a weekly basis.
For instance, if The Elite were feuding with the Jericho Appreciation Society, you could book a four-week feud with unique matches every single weeks. Like so:
- Week 1 – The Young Bucks vs Sammy Guevara and Chris Jericho
- Week 2 – Kenny Omega vs Daniel Garcia
- Week 3 – Omega & Young Bucks vs Jericho, Guevara and Garcia
- Week 4 – Kenny Omega vs Chris Jericho
Here, you have the build up to a singles match between Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho. This has endless possibilities, and an almost infinite different variations of matches.
This also helps to ensure that the top wrestlers don’t suffer too many losses. Jericho and Omega can both avoid being pinned up until their encounter, with their younger teammates taking the fall in tag matches.
This makes it even bigger when Omega finally beats Jericho, as both men have been built up strong in the build up to the match.
This concept was taken by The Elite for AEW, which they learned from their time in Japan.
They were a key part of Bullet Club in New Japan Pro Wrestling, who are one of the most influential factions in wrestling history.
The Elite helped Tony Khan to bring faction warfare to the United States, which led to the return to one of the greatest faction vs faction matches of all time – Blood & Guts!
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.