Bryan Danielson Discusses AEW Ratings And Ticket Sales, Company Growth

Alongside the debuts of Will Ospreay, Kazuchika Okada, and Mercedes Mone, the discussion surrounding AEW these past few weeks has focused on the promotion's ratings and ticket sales, or in some cases the lack thereof. Those questions reached Bryan Danielson last week when he joined AEW owner Tony Khan and fellow star Britt Baker for the "Disrupting the Long-Monopolized Pro Wrestling Industry" panel at SXSW. For Danielson, the answer on how AEW improves those metrics all depends on what the objective is.


"It's always weird when someone says 'To get to the next level,' because the next level depends on what goals you have," Danielson said. "So first you have to define the goals, what are the goals for the company? One of my goals is when you hear this list of things that Tony does, right? These things that he does. I would love for AEW to get to a place where Tony could, if he desires, get married, and go on a honeymoon, and have a week without absolutely no stress. I think...if we could get that done as a company, that would be fantastic. 

"But then, there's also...okay, one of the things when you say get to the next level, over the summer we sold 81,000 tickets at Wembley. We're constantly in the top 10 ratings for cable. So what are we looking at to get to the next level? What level are we trying to achieve? I would say from a business endpoint that [the] next media rights thing is going to be the #1 thing, so how do we do that [while] keeping our ratings high, and improving them where we can?"


Bryan Danielson Discusses Reaction To Will Ospreay's First Two AEW Matches

Danielson then switched the discussion over to how the solution to said questions wasn't simple, whether it would be regarding growth in ratings and ticket sales or the quality of AEW's onscreen product. That, for Danielson, is especially difficult, as he's not sure the AEW product could be better right now, siting the recent acclaimed matches Ospreay had upon joining AEW, which Danielson noted had gotten strong reactions from those in the locker room besides himself.


"All of these things, what they require, it's not's not anything specific," Danielson said. "Life is not that simple, where you can just say 'Hey, we need better matches.' Well, better matches than the ones we're already producing? If you guys are wrestling fans that watched 'Dynamite' last week, Will Ospreay wrestled Kyle Fletcher...

"I've been a wrestler for 25 years now, been watching wrestling since I was in first grade. There was somebody next to me when Ospreay wrestled Takeshita on Saturday, and they said the same thing on Wednesday. 'Is this the greatest wrestler I've ever seen?' And you've just seen it, so you know it's fantastic. So is it a great match, is it this, is it that?"


If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Disrupting the Long-Monopolized Pro Wrestling Industry" and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription