Bully Ray On The Area In Which AEW Needs To Take A Cue From WWE

In light of AEW and TBS celebrating the surge in viewership for last week's "AEW Dynamite: Grand Slam," Bully Ray has cautioned the upstart promotion to not rest on its laurels, and instead build momentum with hopes of bringing back lapsed viewers that have stopped watching AEW programming over the past year or so.


"AEW needs to cater to newer viewers the way WWE does," Ray said on "Busted Open" this week. "The WWE, as big as they are right now — if you take a lot at the metrics, they might even be bigger than the Attitude Era. Still, they are reminding you [of their past] and bringing new viewers up-to-speed ... new eyes. This is where AEW needs to try and move forward — in bringing new eyes to the product. Otherwise, they're just bouncing back to their own viewers."

Ray pointed out how the WWE product felt stagnant a few years ago and that the promotion was definitely "not in the same boat they are now," applauding Vince McMahon's promotion for making considerable strides by bringing back a ton of lapsed viewers. "Look at the extent to which they have bounced back — to where their houses are full, their merchandise is off the charts, and everything they're doing right now is turning to gold," Ray said of WWE. 


The ECW and WWE legend proceeded to implore AEW to adopt WWE's mindset of attracting new viewers rather than catering to only its niche audience. It's worth pointing out that "AEW Dynamite" was on the brink of surpassing the viewership of "WWE Raw" in September 2021 when the likes of CM Punk, Adam Cole, and Bryan Danielson joined the Tony Khan-led promotion. In fact, several wrestling pundits even predicted that AEW would surpass WWE in the ratings by 2022, something that obviously never happened. Many have attributed AEW's loss in viewership to the backstage trials and tribulations the company has coped with over the past year or so.