Tony Khan took a risk with free shows.
All Elite Wrestling has held just three shows since its formation on January 1, 2019. AEW Double or Nothing was presented on pay-per-view and reportedly did nearly 100,000 buys. AEW Fyter Fest and Fight For The Fallen were presented free on B/R Live and were two of the most popular live-streaming events in the platform's history.
But the decision to give away Fyter Fest and Fight For The Fallen came with a risk.
“In terms of putting shows out there for free, we took a bath financially on that and I took a big hit, and I was willing to do it as a company because I believed in our brand of wrestling,” AEW President Tony Khan told The Decider. “There hasn’t been a legitimate other company [besides WWE] presenting weekly, high quality wrestling, and never before was HD available. [Once AEW premieres on TNT] the revenue streams are going to be huge.”
Khan went on to say that his “dream” was to get AEW to the level “where WCW was.”
WCW was the top promotion in wrestling for nearly two years in the late 90s before they quickly crashed and went out of business in 2001. There aren't many similarities between AEW and WCW, though the two promotions have the obvious connection of airing on TNT.
AEW is set to premiere on TNT on Oct. 2, running live every Wednesday night.