Joe Koff weighs in on the rise of AEW.
Before All Elite Wrestling was officially announced, Ring of Honor had a hand in getting Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks to where they are today. Without ROH, All In may not have existed. Cody and the Bucks, who were under contract to ROH at the time, used ROH connections to help pull off what they claimed to be "The Largest Independent Wrestling Show Ever."
As it turns out, All In was the launching pad for AEW. The success of All In pushed Cody Rhodes, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson to partner up with Tony Khan, leaving ROH without three of their top stars heading into 2019. Speaking to ESPN, ROH COO Joe Koff said he has "no regrets" with helping The Elite but he isn't ready to crown AEW the next undisputed champion in the wrestling world.
"I think AEW is certainly entering that space looking at a bigger slice of the pie," Koff said. "But if you look around the country and at all these smaller promotions, we are sometimes in the same boat fighting for that same fan. ... We're trying to get more people on the product that aren't the same fans, because they aren't the same shoppers. I think what All In did was show and illustrate that there is an appetite for possibly a different kind of wrestling promotion. It's also just been one show. Not that I don't think their television is going to be good or whatever they're going to do is going to be good, because those guys are really smart at what they do. But it's one show. Let's talk after we get to 400 shows. Let's see where that is at that point. But I have no regrets at all, and I only wish them the best. They're terrific, terrific people and they did nothing but great work for us. And I'll always be thankful."
AEW's first official show will take place on May 25 when they hold Double or Nothing in Las Vegas. The company will then continue to run monthly events before debuting on TNT with a weekly live program in the fall.