On a recent episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily, Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman sat down with veteran WWE referee Jimmy Korderas to discuss the latest news in the business of professional wrestling. At one point, Hausman and Korderas discussed the different target audiences for WWE and AEW. Whereas WWE seems to market themselves to families, AEW markets themselves to young adults. Korderas gave his thoughts on that difference in strategy.
“I understand it from a business standpoint, looking to the future. Because if you hook these kids early like I was hooked when I was eight, nine years old, five years old, and I’ve been a lifelong fan since then,” Korderas noted. “Now, maybe their mindset is, if we hook these children at a young age, they become lifelong fans. Maybe that’s that mindset from a business standpoint, but then again, if you look at AEW’s business model, they’re catering to that 18-49 demographic.
“They have bought in completely. And my only concern is that to try to grow their audience, they have to expand past appealing just to that audience with their little inside jabs that they take on their Wednesday night shows and stuff like that. Yes, their audience gets it, but somebody who’s tuning in to watch that may not be a hardcore internet reader, and he watches and goes, ‘I don’t get it. I don’t get why they’re laughing. I don’t get why they’re popping for that.'”
It was recently reported that Kevin Owens’ contract is set to expire in January. Many within WWE are reportedly expecting Owens to leave WWE for AEW, with Owens fueling that speculation after posting a photo of himself with Adam Cole and The Young Bucks from back in their indie days. Korderas spoke on WWE stars like Bryan Danielson and Adam Cole leaving WWE for AEW.
“I think a lot of it is the allure that AEW seems to be the place where guys have the creative freedom to express themselves as opposed to being handed something. For anybody in this business, that is so appealing,” Korderas pointed out. “In the world of perception is reality, when people see all these talents exiting and going to the other company, they start thinking, oh, there’s got to be a reason why all these top talents are going there.
“There’s got to be a reason, so maybe I’m gonna tune in and find out what it is, and then they get to see these talents be themselves, or as Steve Austin used to say it, Stone Cold turned up to 12. Imagine Kevin Owens turned up to a 12, or Sami Zayn turned up to a 12? We’ve already seen Daniel Bryan drop the F bomb. Even when he dropped it, I went, oh, okay, that’s a little different. The only challenge for AEW now is they only have a finite amount of time, three hours of television a week to showcase these talents. Yes, they have their YouTube shows, but it’s not the same as television.
“Television is where you garner your audience. It’s where the money is too, right now. That may change over time, but right now, TV is where you make your money and try to showcase these talents in three hours. The only problem they have is, at times, I find they try to shoehorn too much stuff into that two hours on Wednesday night and that one hour on Friday night. There’s a little bit too much going on for people to digest and absorb. If Rampage were a two-hour show as opposed to a one-hour show, maybe that would help. There’s just a lot of good talent that there’s just not enough TV time for.”
The Young Bucks have also recently teased Owens joining them in AEW. Hausman asked Korderas what he thinks the backstage feeling is like for AEW talent that have been with the company since the beginning seeing these big names take top spots.
“There are a lot of egos in this business, and when that happens, when other talents come in and push other talents down so to speak, that ego starts to show,” Korderas said. “And people start to stew, and at times, they let their voices be heard. That’s the problem they could be running into in the future. Right now, I’m not hearing anything. I don’t know.
“I’m not there. But at the same time, I can only imagine when you see guys like Bryan Danielson come in, when you see a CM Punk, and then you see an Adam Cole who a lot of people have referred to as the second coming of Shawn Michaels, and you’ve got guys who have been there since day one going, yeah, but I put the time in here and this guy just comes in and oversteps me? There’s a way to do it where these talents coming in can help elevate these guys who have been there and make them known to that audience that may not know them that well.”
You can follow Jimmy on Twitter @JimmyKorderas
Powered by RedCircle