Kevin Kelly explains his viewpoint.
Kevin Kelly has been in the midst of the pro wrestling business since the early 90s and he has worn the hats of commentator, backstage interviewer and correspondent. Kevin Kelly has worked for the WWE, Ring Of Honor, ECWA and is currently on the call for New Japan Pro-Wrestling as the company's full-time English commentator. Kevin Kelly will also be doing commentary for the opening day of the G1 Climax 29 tournament on AXS TV. To promote the forthcoming show, Kevin Kelly chatted with Jim Varsallone of the Miami Herald and was asked about the land of professional wrestling now that AEW is arising. Kevin Kelly went on to explain that he does not see AEW as competition and did not mean that in a negative manner, but more-so just feels that AEW has their own specific audience.
“I don’t see it as competition, I see it as its own audience. In the height of the Monday Night Wars, there were ten million people a week watching wrestling on Monday nights. Now that number is two million a week, three million a week. Those seven million people weren’t taken up at the rapture, they’re still there. These are people that just weren’t having their viewership needs satisfied by what the current product was. So, New Japan has come in and we’ve seen phenomenal audience growth. Just absolutely fantastic growth. Year over year, week after week, it’s wonderful, and now with AEW coming in, it’s not competition for the existing audience, but it’s going to bring more fans back because every time a fan wants to research something now, they don’t necessarily look at the TV Guide anymore -- very few do -- they’re gonna go on the internet and they’re gonna Google search wrestling on TV and something is going to pop up about AEW, something is going to pop up about WWE, something is gonna pop up about Ring Of Honor, something is gonna pop up about New Japan Pro-Wrestling, and fans are gonna go, ‘Wait, I’ve been a lapsed fan. I haven’t watched wrestling in all these years and something I saw recently just captured my attention.’" Kelly explained. "There’s all these different offerings. When I grew up in Florida, I not only had Championship Wrestling From Florida, but I had the Georgia show on TBS, we got Memphis TV, we got Mid-South TV, I got the MSG Network to see WWF from the Garden. I had all of this at my disposal, and I watched all of it. So I think it’s just gonna add to the cumulative audience as opposed to splitting up what already is a largely unequal pie.”
Fightful made predictions for the opening day of the G1 Climax tournament and to check out that predictions video, click here.