All Elite Wrestling has taken the wrestling world by storm, but nowhere more so than in the United Kingdom.
While they have little representation from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales (although Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster would be fantastic signings), those countries, along with England, have taken AEW into their hearts.
In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why AEW has become more popular than WWE in the UK. There are multiple reasons why, all of which will be explained (with stats) in the article below.
AEW Is More Popular Than WWE In The UK
All Elite Wrestling has overtaken WWE in popularity in the UK, according to multiple metrics.
While WWE is by far the most recognizable name in pro-wrestling in the country, it does not garner the same number of views as AEW.
According to backbodydrop, AEW Dynamite averages over 100,000 views per week on ITV4.
This is especially impressive, given the changing time slot of the show, and the fact that it is broadcast two days after the show goes out live in the United States.
Meanwhile, WWE’s Flagship show (Friday Night Smackdown) only managed to pull in an average of 50,000 views per episode – halving AEW’s viewership.
Given the 20-year head start in broadcasting in the UK, it is odd that WWE would fall behind AEW so much.
The main reason for AEW being more popular than WWE in the UK has to be attributed to the channel it is broadcast on.
WWE is shown on BT Sport (and before that, Sky Sports), which is a pay TV channel. Fans will need to go out their way to pay for BT Sport in order to watch Raw or Smackdown.
Only four million people have access to BT Sport, compared to the twenty-nine million who have TV licenses, and as such can watch AEW on ITV each week.
The existence of AEW also came at a time when fans grew bored of the WWE.
Roman Reigns domination lasted years, and along with the changing of channels to a smaller station saw ratings drop for the WWE.
Attendances continually dropped, with British fans less and less interested in attending WWE shows.
AEW provided something new that fans hadn’t seen before. It injected new life into pro-wrestling, and continued the work of the booming British wrestling scene (which was decimated by NXT UK and the Speaking Out movement).
All In Is Set To Be The Biggest Wrestling Show Ever
Another metric that proves AEW is more popular than WWE in the UK is the ticket sales for their debut show in the United Kingdom.
Coming to London for the first time, AEW bring their All In show on August 27th, 2023 to the iconic Wembley Stadium.
While it seemed overly ambitious for Tony Khan to book the 90,000 seater stadium, tickets soon began to fly off the shelves.
With over 70,000 tickets already being sold, it looks to be on the way to a potential sellout. No matches have been announced, and AEW will be hoping to sell out the stadium when the top stars are all announced.
The record attendance for WWE stands at around 80,000 (legitimately), for both WrestleMania 32 and Summerslam 1992 (the latter of which took place in the old Wembley Stadium).
WWE attempted their own Stadium show on UK soil last year, the first since Summerslam 1992.
Despite the UK’s-own Drew McIntyre in the main event, they only drew 62,000 fans into Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium – a Welsh record, but easily surpassed by AEW’s All In event.
Just as TNA managed to do years ago, AEW has brought true competition to the WWE.
Fans were looking for an alternative, and when provided it by Tony Khan, they took it with both hands and made AEW more popular than the WWE in the United Kingdom.