Follow TV Tropes


Wrestling / All Elite Wrestling

Go To

Nick Jackson: Some people think that we're getting rich, that's completely the opposite. Get out of here! We're probably break even at the end of the day.

All Elite Wrestling, LLC (AEW) is an American Professional Wrestling promotion based out of Jacksonville, Florida.

Its early seeds were planted by Cody Rhodes, Matt & Nick Jackson as a result of their successful show ALL IN in late 2018 alongside the Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan and his son Tony Khan who would join in their journey later that year. After The Elite (Cody, Matt, Nick, Kenny Omega, and "Hangman" Adam Page) finished up their ROH/NJPW commitments (save for stablemate Marty Scurll who had several months on his ROH contract) they went on to launch the AEW venture. (Scurll eventually did not follow them to AEW, choosing to continue with ROH & the newly revitalized NWA.)

In January 2019, the promotion announced a sequel to ALL IN dubbed Double or Nothing, which would serve as the company's inaugural event, as well as announcing the roles of Executive Vice President (initially consisting of Cody Rhodes and Matt & Nick Jackson, with Kenny Omega coming on board the following month), Chief Brand Officer (Brandi Rhodes), and the initial roster. They also announced a working relationship with Chinese professional wrestling promotion Oriental Wrestling Entertainment (OWE) founded by Japanese wrestler CIMA. Also in February 2019, AEW announced a partnership with Mexican promotion AAA. AEW has since established working relationships with Impact Wrestling (December 2020) and New Japan Pro-Wrestling (February 2021).


The developments of the company can be followed in the following channels:

AEW's first weekly show, AEW Dynamite, which airs on TNT in the United States on Wednesdays, premiered on October 2, 2019. The company has two secondary shows exclusive to YouTube. The first, AEW Dark airing on Tuesdays, featuring dark matches not aired at the TNT live broadcast, debuted in October 2019. The similar AEW Dark Elevation, which airs on Mondays, debuted in March 2021. Another secondary show, AEW Rampage, debuted in August 2021 on TNT; January 2022 will see Dynamite move from TNT to TBS, as TNT will soon become occupied by both their long-standing coverage of the NBA, and their new coverage of the NHL (in a split deal with ESPN, taking over from NBC). Rampage will stay on TNT, however.


The promotion recognizes five championships;

  • AEW World Champion: Kenny Omega since December 2, 2020
  • AEW Women's World Champion: Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. since May 30, 2021
  • AEW World Tag Team Champions: The Lucha Brothers (Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fenix) since September 5, 2021
  • AEW TNT Champion: Sammy Guevara since September 29, 2021
  • AEW TBS Champion: TBAnote 

Other championships that are currently defended on AEW include;

  • FTW Champion: "Absolute" Ricky Starks since July 14, 2021note 

Both rosters include tag teams.

All Elite Tropes:

  • Aborted Arc:
    • In the face of a consistently chilly reception from fans, the Nightmare Collective stable was shut down at the behest of Brandi Rhodes. Where it was meant to go will likely be a Riddle for the Ages.
    • Whatever story was being told with Annie "the Bunny" infiltrating the Nightmare Family by seducing QT Marshall and teaming with Brandi as "the Nightmare Sisters" was apparently scrapped for whatever reason, with Bunny simply leaving QT again to rejoin the Butcher and the Blade once she'd maxed out his credit cards.
    • After the tragic and unexpected death of Brodie Lee, almost all Dark Order storylines got thrown out the door, as the entire group spontaneously turned face in honour of their late leader. Evil Uno had been looking like he was contemplating turning face after tiring of Brodie's abuse, while Anna Jay had been attempting to recruit her friend and tag team partner Tay Conti into the group despite Tay becoming somewhat disturbed by Anna's heelish behavior. The group as a whole were setting up a feud with Dustin Rhodes, who they saw as a recruitment target. All these stories were dropped without a trace, with Uno (still "Evil") returning to being the stable's leader alongside Brodie's son -1, and Tay finally joining the group as an associate member (especially after Anna was taken out by a training injury). The only storyline continued was the Dark Order trying to recruit Hangman Adam Page and even then, any hints of heelish intentions beforehand were also dropped in favour of the Dark Order genuinely wanting Adam to join them as a friend.
  • A Boy and His X: Prior to having Marko Stunt in and renaming themselves as "Jurassic Express", Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy's tag team name was originally "A Boy and His Dinosaur".
  • Bar Brawl: Both Stadium Stampedes have featured these.
    • The first was between Jake Hager and Adam Page & Kenny Omega.
    • The second took place inside of a nightclub inside the stadium between FTR and Santana & Ortiz. Prior to them beginning hostilities, FTR's manager Tully Blanchard poured both teams a shot. Konnan, who was the DJ, even got involved in his old protege's defense after Blanchard began to get involved.
  • Big Bad Ensemble:
    • First-ever AEW World Champion Chris Jericho was the main Big Bad for a while, after his vicious attack on Cody and Dustin Rhodes and the Young Bucks, alongside Sammy Guevara, Ortiz, Santana, and a debuting Jake Hager, dubbing the stable the Inner Circle.
    • The Dark Order is another stable that was not on the same level as The Inner Circle, but was shaping up to become one similar to them. Led by Evil Uno, under the command of the Exalted One, the stable attacked at random and seemed to be a cult of Creepers. While the Inner Circle was all about money and fame in AEW, nothing was known about The Dark Order's goals; Evil Uno seemed to be building an army of followers for the Exalted One, going as far to recruit those on a losing streak, or tag team members like Christopher Daniels. With the revelation of the Exalted One as Brodie Lee (the former Luke Harper), it's clearer that the Dark Order was basically corporate arrogance that only plays at being dark and edgy. It's a bit of a Take That to a certain other wrestling promotion's corporate culture. However, after the untimely death of Brodie Lee, they turned face.
    • More recently The Pinnacle, led by MJF along with FTR, Wardlow, Shawn Spears, and manager Tully Blanchard.
    • Matt Hardy's faction Hardy Family Office counts as one as well due to their grievances with Adam Page, the Dark Order, and most recently Darby Allin.
  • Big Good: Cody, as not only executive vice president of the company but also a phenomenally over babyface.
  • Butt-Monkey: Brandon Cutler and Peter Avalon have both been piling up losses since AEW started doing shows. They didn't manage to score a win as a tag team either, so eventually they decided to go one-on-one on the September 15, 2020 episode of Dark to settle who would be the first to get a win... resulting in AEW's first-ever double count-out.
  • Cacophony Cover Up: At Double or Nothing 2019, Chris Jericho was cutting a heel promo in which he demanded that the hostile crowd cheer for him, which coincided with the crowd going crazy as Jon Moxley walked through the crowd in his surprise debut. The cheering kept Jericho distracted long enough (believing that it was the crowd obeying his order) for Moxley to enter the ring and confront him.
  • Call-Back: During the Casino Battle Royal at Double or Nothing, MJF eliminated sentimental fan favorite Glacier and taunted the crowd as he basked in the boos, only to back into Billy Gunn, who was standing behind him giving him a Death Glare. During the Dynamite Dozen Battle Royal on the 20th November episode of Dynamite, MJF eliminated fan favorite Orange Cassidy while he was in the middle of unleashing his "ruthless assault" on Billy Gunnnote , really pissing off the crowd. Once again, MJF taunted them as he relished their hatred, only to once again back up into Gunn, who was glaring daggers from behind again. He even put on a Here We Go Again! expression as he turned around to take his punishment.
  • The Cameo: AEW makes extensive use of journeyman wrestlers (men and women who are brought in to wrestle without being signed to a long-term contract), not only as Jobbers on Dark but on the main show (such as Matt Sydal's brother Mike teaming with him) and even occasionally in main events, perhaps most notably when Chris Jericho brought in "Mr. Athletic" Jeff Cobb as a hired gun to take out Jon Moxley ahead of their championship match at Revolution 2020.
  • Combat Commentator:
    • Retired wrestler Excalibur is a color commentator.
    • Allie did commentary during the women's fatal four-way in Double or Nothing.
    • Since Jim Ross stopped featuring in AEW Dark, a number of wrestlers have taken turns in joining Excalibur in the commentary booth, including Chuck Taylor, Shawn Spears, Nyla Rose and MJF. Some unaffiliated guests have even joined in, such as Colt Cabana and Vickie Guerrero (both of whom signed full-time shortly thereafter).
  • Corpsing: The camera has a habit of zooming in on Chris Jericho's face during his entrances. Ever since the crowd started singing his entrance theme, he can be seen smiling out-of-character. (His cheeks become pinched-in.)
  • Custom Uniform: Every TNT Champion had had their own unique variation of the belt. At first, this was something of a coincidence: Cody had to make-do with an unfinished placeholder belt during his first run, Brodie Lee had the finished version of that belt associated with him when it was retired after his death, and Darby Allin got a black leather version of the belt as a replacement. The unique belt idea was solidified with Miro's reign, when he got a white and green variant of the belt (which alonside his red trunks matches the colors of the flag of Bulgaria, Miro's home country), with the coat-of-arms of his hometown, Plovdiv, replacing the Turner Mansion side plates. When Sammy Guevara won the title, the standard version was reinstated, albeit with rhinestones added in the circular area behind the TNT logo (likely to compliment Sammy's bedazzled ring gear).
  • Crossover:
    • While AEW has maintained cordial working relationships with a number of other promotions since its inception, in December 2020 it began a more direct crossover with Impact Wrestling when Don Callis helped Kenny Omega cheat to beat Champion Jon Moxley, then declared that Omega would be appearing on Impact with the AEW belt. This grew into the start of a mutual invasion angle, with Impact Tag Team champions The Good Brothers (Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson, formerly of Bullet Club with Kenny) showing up on Dynamite to wrestle, Kenny joining them to take on Impact Champion Rich Swann, Moose and Chris Sabin at Impact's Hard to Kill 2021 PPV, and Matt Hardy leading Private Party to Impact to challenge the Good Brothers as well. AEW owner Tony Khan and Tony Schiavone even started buying ad space on Impact episodes, cutting snarky promos on the promotion. The conflict between the two promotions escalated until it eventually led to a champion vs champion winner-take-all match between Omega and Swann set for Impact's Rebellion PPV.
    • Wrestling fans refer to AEW's method of crossovers as "Opening the Forbidden Door", referring to a Japanese wrestling term for the status quo of a company not allowing wrestlers to appear on their show who are not explicitly under contract with them. Traditionally, wrestlers who leave a company and appear on another may keep some or most of their original gimmicks and may be given winks and nods to their old employer, but that's as far as it goes. The cross appearances between AEW and Impact talent mark the first time since ECW appearing on WWF television in the mid '90s that one company's talent appeared on another company's programming with the explicit acknowledgement that they work for an entirely different company (and are not, say, a stable masquerading as another company).
    • A two-way crossover occurred for a single title that AEW didn't even own: in early 2021, KENTA of New Japan Pro Wrestling suddenly attacked Jon Moxley over the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship - a title that Moxley had held for over a year and one that KENTA had the rights to challenge for. Not only did this allow KENTA to wrestle a match on Dynamite (a tag match alongside Kenny Omega against Moxley and Lance Archer), but this also resulted in a brief time period where Moxley was officially recognized as a titleholder in New Japan despite no prior mention of it.
  • Crowd Song: Chris Jericho's "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune "Judas" became this to the extent that everything in the ring stops while the audience finishes singing up to the end of the first chorus ("I'm becoming Judas in my mind.")
  • Dark Reprise: The theme song for Lucha Brothers underwent this after teaming with PAC to become Death Triangle.
  • Different in Every Episode: Instead of the usual kayfabe factoids, the information tab on Hangman Adam Page's entrance graphic changes every week to reflect some random thought in-character as the Functional Addict, such as "Days Sober: 0", "Social Distancing Since November", and "IDK Make It Say Something Like Happee Hawlidays".
  • The Dragon: Several wrestlers have a big, strong enforcer.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • Alex Marvez was a fixture of the company's commentary team in its pre-Dynamite days. After Tony Schiavone joined, Marvez was relegated to being the promotion's backstage interviewer, where he has remained since.
    • Early episodes of Dark lacked a consistent commentary team; it was usually Excalibur with a Special Guest from the wrestling roster. Dark eventually settled on pairing Excalibur with Taz for most matches.
    • Similarly, Elevation began with the commentary team of Tony Schiavone and Paul Wight. Later, Eddie Kingston was introduced as a third wheel, and has mostly stuck around since.
    • At the start of the "pandemic era", AEW took the initiative in taping around five weeks of shows overnight at the Nightmare Factory wrestling school (operated by AEW's Cody Rhodes and QT Marshall) in Norcross, Georgia, so they would be prepared if wrestling shows could not continue to be produced in the short-term. These episodes certainly stand out as AEW would use the distinctive Daily's Place as their home venue throughout the rest of this era.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Several heels have justified their actions in promos by saying they do it to put food on their family’s table.
  • Game Changer:
    • The foundation of AEW marked a significant shift in the balance of power in the North American wrestling scene. After the fall of WCW and ECW at the end of the Monday Night Wars, and after Impact Wrestling and Ring of Honor had failed to gain more than niche followings (and Impact, formerly known as TNA, had managed to repeatedly embarrass itself when it had tried to compete with WWE on its own level, such as the "New Monday Night Wars" when they moved their flagship TV show to Mondays to go against Raw), the backing of Tony Khan and the guiding hands of The Elite meant that AEW aimed to be the true Spiritual Successor to WCW that fans had long been clamoring for. Even though it didn't aim to directly confront WWE on its own massive levelnote , by providing another promotion where wrestlers can sign to gain a relatively good amount of mainstream exposure without the harsh working schedules and difficult backstage environment of WWE, AEW managed to offer workers on the North American wrestling scene an alternative career trajectory than ultimately striving to end up in WWE. The existence of AEW had a considerable effect on the way WWE did business almost immediately, with the company signing more talent to longer, more lucrative contracts in order to keep as many wrestlers as possible away from AEW.
    • On November 12, 2020, Tony Khan tweeted that "the balance of power in wrestling will shift tonight". When the most dramatic thing to happen on the episode of Dynamite aired that night was the return of PAC (who had been absent for months thanks to the COVID-19 Pandemic), this tweet became the subject of some mockery, but events that shortly followed suggested he had simply been a couple of weeks premature, as the December 2 episode revealed that AEW had entered into a working relationship with Impact Wrestling (which, despite the past failings mentioned above, was still the third biggest wrestling promotion in the USA after AEW's foundation) when Kenny Omega won the AEW World Championship and absconded together with Impact Wrestling vice president Don Callis to make his next appearance on the subsequent episode of Impact!, eventually leading to Impact World Tag Team Champions the Good Brothers (Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson) appearing on Dynamite, and even Kenny wrestling a main event match on the next Impact PPV. Together with the working relationships AEW already had with the NWA and AAA, it was speculated that AEW was assembling a massive wrestling company coalition to compete against WWE, speculation that went into overdrive when KENTA kicked open the "forbidden door" at the end of the February 3, 2021 Beach Break special episode of Dynamite, revealing that AEW had also come to terms (or was in the process of coming to terms) with New Japan Pro-Wrestling, the biggest wrestling company in Japan. Fans have theorized that AEW is attempting to revive the interpromotional wrestling network of the pre-WWE hegemony territory days, only now on a global scale.
  • Genki Girl:
    • Kylie Rae was basically AEW's equivalent of Bayley, always showing herself smiling and cheerful. When she left the company, the void of that role seems to be filled by both Riho and Allie (at least until Allie turned heel and joined The Butcher and The Blade as The Bunny).
    • Yuka Sakazaki fully counts as one, especially when she goofs off in the ring.
    • Maki Itoh is shaping up to be a lunatic version of this trope.
    • Tay Conti is dancing her way to the role nicely.
  • Genre Throwback: Most AEW matches feature a 20-minute time limit, which has come into play on a few occasions (most notably Darby Allin vs. Cody at Fyter Fest 2019, where Allin surviving until the time limit draw served to build him up as a credible Determinator). Strictly enforced time limits was a staple of old-school professional wrestling, but had largely been abandoned outside of special stipulation matches.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: A (presumably) unintentional one during the AEW World Championship match between Chris Jericho and Cody at Full Gear 2019 when Cody went for a suicide dive out of the ring onto Jericho, only for Jericho to roll out of the way towards the cameraman, causing his body to block a lot of the shot as Cody smashed headfirst into the steel entrance ramp, tearing a vicious gash open in his forehead. Given the brutality of the spot, it may have been for the better.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: One of the silly nameplate facts given to Adam Page when he and Kenny Omega faced off against the Lucha Brothers said, "¿Cómo se dice yeehaw?" ("How does one say yeehaw?").
  • Grievous Bottley Harm:
    • On the January 8, 2020 episode of Dynamite, Moxley smashed a bottle of "a little bit of the bubbly" over Jericho's head after refusing his offer to join The Inner Circle.
    • During the Stadium Stampede match at Double or Nothing 2020, Kenny Omega and "Hangman" Adam Page had to break five bottles of "a little bit of the bubbly" (from a bar inside the stadium where the match took place) over Jake Hager's head before hitting him with Page's finisher (with Kenny providing the boost) to take him out of the match.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Cody has stated that he believes Heels and Faces are tired tropes and that all wrestlers are merely “competitors”.
  • Halloween Episode: The October 30, 2019 edition of Dynamite featured numerous wrestlers coming to the ring in costume, including Best Friends as Rick and Morty, the Young Bucks as Ryu and Ken, and Kenny Omega as Sans.
  • Hidden Depths: On the December 4, 2019 Dynamite, Luchasaurus roared at Chris Jericho... then asked if Jericho really thought he talked like that and bragged about his Masters in medieval history (which he really does have).
  • I Meant to Do That:
    • invoked After the embarrassing incident during a beatdown by the Dark Order on the Elite where one of the Creepers was caught full-on camera throwing punches at Dustin Rhodes that weren't even in the same postcode as his head, AEW came in for a lot of mockery for the segment. They responded by working it into the story, giving the Dark Order another one of their vignette videos where it was implied that the Creeper in question was a mole infiltrating the Order who was only faking his participation in the beatdown and they had him "dealt with".
    • Similarly, after a spectacular fail of the pyros at the end of the "Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match" between Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega, Omega and Don Callis played it off as an intentional joke they played on Mox and Eddie Kingston. Probably the best "save" the promotion could have come up with, but still.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: At All Out 2021, with his originally scheduled opponent Pac unable to attend due to travel issues (which had plagued Pac and the Lucha Bros. before hand, all of which were implied to have been caused by Andrade), Andrade and Chavo Guerrero Jr. were interviewed backstage. After having been asked point blank if they were the cause of Pac's travel issues, Chavo quickly interjected that he didn't even know the number for American Airlines, and then quickly backtracked and said "if that's the flight he was using."
  • Interface Spoiler: A hypothetical one, but during the premiere episode of Dynamite when the Women's World Championship belt was revealed, a lot of people took one look at it and immediately guessed who was going to win it. The belt is absolutely tiny by wrestling belt standards, even women's belt standards (as could be seen when the ref held it up), and was being contested between 170 pound female Wrestling Monster Nyla Rose and petite Japanese joshi Riho, who weighs well under 100 pounds soaking wet. Riho won, and the tiny belt was nicely sized for her. AEW eventually replaced the belt with a new one that had a similar design but was significantly larger during the celebration for Hikaru Shida's year-long title reign in early 2021.
  • Jobber: AEW has a recurring roster of jobbers (of both genders) who show up repeatedly to lose to higher-standing talent. Some of them, like Peter "the Librarian" Avalon and Brandon Cutler, are full characters who wrestle on the main show as well, while most are enhancement talent who only appear on Dark and don't have a real character or get an opportunity to talk. Regardless, some of them (like Shawn "The Captain" Dean, Lee Johnson, Skyler Moore and Musa) manage to get quite over with the fans who want to see them pick up their first win due to good performances. You can also never tell when an apparent jobber losing on Dark will be picked up and promoted to a full performer if they're well-received enough, like Preston Vance, who lost his debut match to Darby Allin and was promptly recruited by the Dark Order as "10", or Alan Angels, who was recruited as "5".
  • Kid-Appeal Character:
    • Riho is only 93 pounds and became the inaugural Women's World Champion at age 22, having been wrestling since she was nine years old. Ratings have shown her segments are especially popular among teenage audiences.
    • Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy have been very popular with younger fans as well, due to their cartoony gimmicks and Jungle Boy's youth. Marko Stunt's arrival in the stable has added to it because of his unusually small size for a male wrestler (billed as 5'2", 120 pounds).
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: During Kenny Omega's Undertale entrance on the October 30th, 2019 edition of Dynamite, a silhouette of Kota Ibushi (Omega's old tag team partner in New Japan Pro-Wrestling) holding the G1 Climax trophy was shown along with a modified version of the famous Lionmark of NJPW as a continuation of the Undertale-themed cutscenes made for Omega's Wrestle Kingdom entrance.
  • Meaningful Name: The Elite in the name? It's because the wrestling part of their owning board formed a subgroup in the Bullet Club called "The Elite".
  • Mêlée à Trois: Double or Nothing 2019 had a triple threat booked between Dr. Britt Baker, Kylie Rae, and Nyla Rose and Awesome Kong as a surprise entrant to make it a fatal four-way.
  • Mythology Gag: As a dedicated promotion for hardcore wrestling fans, AEW incorporates a LOT of call-backs to famous elements of wrestling history.
    • AEW's TV series on TNT being named AEW Dynamite. Just remember that the last wrestling program TNT had was also named after an explosive substance. Also, the TNT Championship belt has images of the "Turner Mansion" (the Turner campus at Techwood, a former country club converted into CNN's original home in 1980; after CNN left for the CNN Center in 1987, it became home to every other Turner network, excepting Adult Swim, which is based in an "overflow" facility on Williams Street) flanking the TNT logo; the "mansion" was where the WCW's predecessor, Jim Crockett Promotions, taped their shows (as in, you could feel the vibrations in CNN's original newsroom, and the wrestlers were in the basement, as several ex-Turner employees have recounted).
    • Brian Pillman Jr.'s tag team with Griff Garrison, the Varsity Blondes, is a call back to his late father's WCW tag team with the future legend then known as "Stunning" Steve Austin, the Hollywood Blonds.note 
    • The red and gold TNT Championship belt is a subtle nod to the classic TNT channel logo used from 1995 to 2001, which not coincidentally was the logo used throughout the life of WCW Monday Nitro.
    • Brodie Lee's brutal squash of Cody for the TNT Championship was directly based on Antonio Inoki being flattened by Big Van Vader in 1987, one of the most infamous Squash Matches of all time. Similarly, their dog-collar rematch was chosen by Brodie himself as a tribute to his personal favourite wrestling match of all time, Greg Valentine vs. Roddy Piper at Starrcade 1983, with Valentine himself in attendance.
    • Cody having a supposedly-friendly exhibition match against QT Marshall where QT snaps in response to Cody patronising him by holding the ropes open for him to reenter the ring after being thrown out and turning on him and attacking him was a call back to the famous "master vs student" match between Bruno Sammartino and Larry Zbyszko which ended the same way when Zbyszko beat up his mentor with a chair.
    • In the second Stadium Stampede, Tully Blanchard was attacked with a shard of wood, much like the ending of his famous "I Quit" match against Magnum TA. This time, Blanchard didn't say the two words.
    • CM Punk's debut match against Darby Allin featured several direct references to and recreations of spots from one of Punk's favourite matches, Bret Hart vs the 1-2-3 Kid from a 1994 RAW. Someone even made a video comparison of the matching spots and X-Pac himself thanked Punk and Darby for the homage.
  • Parent-Child Team: As well as being a backstage figure, Billy Gunn has also been wrestling together with his son Austin as Gunn Club. Younger son Colten has since joined them.
    • In a slightly different version, Taz's real-life son Tyler Senerchia wrestles in his father's stable, Team Taz, as Hook.
  • Parts Unknown:
    • Private Party hail from "A Location Where You Need an Invitation" and have a combined weight of "24 Ounces of Vodka Cranberry" (or "Cranberry Vodka"; the order varies).
    • Orange Cassidy is from "...wherever" and weighs "...whatever".
  • Power Stable: The Inner Circle is the first prominent group in the promotion, followed by The Dark Order and more recently The Pinnacle and Hardy Family Office. The Factory, a spinoff of the Nightmare Family, looks to be the next one. There are also the Power Trios mentioned below.
  • Power Trio:
  • Precious Puppy: The AEW Puppy Battle Royale, done as a promotion for the Angels Among Us Pet Rescue, and also for a laugh.
  • Precision F-Strike: Moxley got one in himself during his post-match promo at Revolution, when the sound guys thought he had finished after a long pause to soak in a reaction and hit his music prematurely:
    Moxley: I'm gonna—[music hits]— 'ey, what the fuck?!
    • Bryan Danielson got in his usual pre-WWE one after hitting Kenny Omega with a particularly vicious kick to the head during their match at Grand Slam.
      Danielson: He just got his FUCKING HEAD KICKED IN!
  • Recurring Extra: Many of the wrestlers on the AEW Dark roster play this role on Dynamite. You can usually find Kilynn King, Tessa Price, Katalina Perez and Dani Jordyn (among others) in the background of most matches on Dynamite, but they rarely play a prominent role in the story.
  • Red Herring: During the championship match between Jericho and Cody at Full Gear 2019, a time limit of 60 minutes was put on the bout, with three judges on hand to decide on a winner if it went to time. Even more notably, the judges were Arn Anderson, the legendary Keiji Mutoh, and Dean Malenko, Jericho's Arch-Enemy from WCW, and during the match Jericho even got into Malenko's face, almost starting a physical altercation with him, all of which pointed towards the possibility of the match using all of its alotted time and requiring the judges to step in. As it turned out, the match didn't even get close to 60 minutes, ending just shy of 30 minutes when MJF threw in the towel for Cody, with the judges not being required at all.
  • Running Gag:
    • The text above "Hangman" Adam Page's nameplate being changed to various silly things, much to his frustration. Examples include, "Drank a bottle of whiskey at home alone last Wednesday", "IDK make it say something like Happyee Hawlidays", "Has been drinking" (which got popular enough to make it onto a shirt), and "Not gonna pay Private Party that $12".
    • A shot of Britt Baker sitting in the audience giving shocked reactions, which is a nod to her appearance in NXT: WarGames 2019.Background 
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the 4/13 episode of Dark, Luther was introduced as from "The Kingdom of Nye". This is the nickname of Nye County, Nevada, home of the late broadcaster Art Bell. Appropriate as Luther is also a paranormal podcast host, and the show aired on the third anniversary of Bell's death.
    • Penta's ring gear in 2021 greatly resembles The Joker. To keep the DC references going, Andrade came to the ring of his debut match dressed as Black Mask.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: A random guy on Twitter doing a question to Dave Meltzer led to a bet with Cody Rhodes which also involved The Young Bucks. A year later this strange chain of events led to the creation of All In, the biggest indie PPV, and half a year later, it ended up with the creation of AEW.
  • Spanish Announcers' Table: While the foreign language commentary is done from backstage, there is a timekeeper's table right next to the ring that is available to be smashed up if the match demands it.
  • Spin-Off: AEW could be considered to be technically a clean break from Ring of Honor that ROH itself didn't see coming, as opposed to something intentionally setup like Full Impact Pro or SHIMMER. While All In was independent from any particular promotion, ROH was part of it by virtue of several of its then-contracted wrestlers taking part of it, and the resulting promotion continued to have ROH's blessing going forward, even if it meant another competitor.note 
  • Spiritual Successor: AEW is a promotion based in the American South with a Rhodes holding the book, a weekly show on TNT (named Dynamite, no less), a popular faction of real-life close friends up front and center, international agreements that grant access to cutting-edge talent, and a billionaire backing it all... hmm, what major wrestling company could this possibly remind people of? Cody has admitted that this is a little deliberate, and that he has harbored some thoughts that AEW is an avenger for WCW. He's also stated that, while it's certainly a romantic idea, he isn't going to be pursuing it, as he has people who rely on him and have no interest in taking down WWE.note 
  • Start My Own: After a stint in the indies, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, and Ring of Honor, the Elite contingent of Bullet Club split up from both New Japan and Ring of Honor and started their own promotion.
  • Stylistic Suck:
    • The Librarian gimmick is intentionally bad. In fact, it traces its origins to Dave Meltzer saying that the one gimmick that would never get over in wrestling would be that of a librarian.
    • Revolution 2020 marked the debut of Orange Cassidy's titantron graphics... which is just his name written in black marker on a white background.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: An onscreen variation. As commentary was wont to point out many times since Cody's initial title victory, Cody's weekly TNT Title defenses, coupled with his heavy workload as EVP of the company, was clearly taking a great physical toll, as it took increasingly more effort to put away later opponents and Cody had little to no time to rest any of his accrued injuries leading up to the next show with his company-related responsibilities. Enter Mister Brodie Lee as the latest challenger. While Cody put up an initial flurry, the exhaustion and numerous injuries finally caught up with him, and Lee bulldozes Cody in 4 minutes flat to become the new champion.
  • Tag Team: AEW has repeatedly been praised for having the single deepest and best-developed tag team scene in the entire history of the wrestling industry, and the division arguably receives even more attention than the singles wrestlers do.
    • The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson)
    • FTR (Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler)
    • Lucha Brothers (Pentagón Jr. and Fénix)
    • The Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent Baretta)
    • Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus)
    • Hybrid 2 (Angelico and Jack Evans)
    • Private Party (Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen)
    • The Dark Order (Evil Uno and Stu Grayson)
    • Proud N' Powerful (Santana and Ortiz)
    • Natural Nightmares (Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall)
    • The Butcher and The Blade
    • The Dark Order (Alex Reynolds and John Silver)
    • Gunn Club (Billy and Austin Gunn, with Colten Gunn later joining them)
    • SoCal Uncensored (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian)
    • Chris Jericho and Jake Hager
    • The Jersey Boys (Joey Janela and Sonny Kiss)
    • MJF and Wardlow
    • The Dark Order (Brodie Lee and Colt Cabana)
    • Team Taz (Brian Cage, Ricky Starks and Will Hobbs)
    • Le Sex Gods (Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara)
    • Chaos Project (Luther and Serpentico)
    • The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens and Max Caster)
    • Top Flight (Darius and Dante Martin)
    • Varsity Blondes (Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison)
  • Take That:
    • Over time, it became noticeable that the Librarian gimmick was basically a perfect storm of anything that can go wrong in a storyline, especially "comedy storylines" WWE is known for. First, The Elite claimed that Tony Khan forced the storyline on them (in reality he wasn't), much like how it's claimed that certain storylines only go ahead because Vince McMahon finds them amusing. Then, when one of the wrestlers performing the character, Peter Avalon, went to Creative to complain (as shown on Being the Elite), he finds a pair of Obstructive Bureaucrats who talk him into continuing it; their conversation mirrors one Jon Moxley described to have when discussing his own issues with his character's direction in WWE.
    • Dynamite has produced several instances where the wrestlers have not-so-subtly mocked WWE in their promos, such as Chris Jericho telling the audience to stop chanting "We the people" at Jake Hager because it sucked and was a stupid idea from creative, or Cody Rhodes saying that "this isn't like the other company we came from" where there was an invisible wall stopping him from reaching Jericho in the luxury box. But perhaps the most obvious one was at Double or Nothing 2019, where after Cody's entrance, a chair filled with the imagery of a certain wrestler was revealed, which Cody promptly destroyed with a sledgehammer (said wrestler's Weapon of Choice).
    • After Christopher Daniels had spent weeks questioning the existence of "The Exalted One", the supposed leader of the Dark Order, said "Exalted One" finally reveals himself as Brodie Lee (formerly known as Luke Harper in WWE, and known for being one of many wrestlers to be very underutilized while on WWE's roster), and strikes at both Daniels (who at the time had just turned 50 years old) and Vince McMahon in a single line:
      Brodie Lee: Mr. Daniels, I assure you you're not the first out-of-touch old man to not believe in me, but I will make damn sure you're the last.
    • During the build to the 2020 edition of Fight for the Fallen, Taz cut a promo on Moxley, whose title match with Taz's client Brian Cage was delayed after Moxley's wife, WWE commentator Renee Young, contracted COVID-19, forcing Moxley to quarantine at home as a precaution. Taz alleged that Moxley was simply ducking Cage because all of Mox's COVID-19 tests came back negative, and Taz pointed out Mox would still get tested upon return because "We don't run a sloppy shop!" This was a shot at WWE, who had just had a highly-publicized wave of over 30 performers and crew testing positive for COVID-19, in part because of lax protocols (reportedly, Kevin Dunn had consistently downplayed the seriousness of the pandemic to the talent, and had even told the NXT/Performance Center talent acting as audience to not wear face masks because "if you wear a mask, you're not a real fan"; masks only began to be worn after the wave of infections). While neither AEW or WWE had been enforcing standard social distancing guidelines among talent during production, AEW had been giving full COVID-19 tests to talent while WWE had simply been running temperature checks as a precaution. According to industry journalists Brian Alvarez and Dave Meltzer, WWE brass were extremely angry at this jab.
    • During 2020's All Out, one segment features Kip Sabian announcing that he will be married on a future episode of Dynamite, before plugging his Twitch channel with an on-screen message reading "This message has been approved by All Elite Wrestling". This was a shot at WWE over the ongoing story at the time that they were cracking down on talent using their wrestling names (or even their real names) to promote themselves on third-party platforms such as Twitch and Cameo.
    • During AEW Games' first announcement, they have officially confirmed that Yuke's and WWF No Mercy's developer Geta-San (real name Hideyuki Iwashita) are part of the development team for their first console video game. This is a huge blow for a couple of reasons:
      • For Yuke's, the company had a falling out with 2K Games, who still publishes games for the WWE. Being able to make a game that competes with the WWE's games invigorated the company's team. This was a shot at both WWE and 2K for making decisions outside what Yuke's wanted.
      • For Geta-San, this is a historical shot at WWE. Geta-San was the director of the 4 main Nintendo 64 pro wrestling games under AKI Corp, now known as Syn Sophia, since 1997. The first N64 game, WCW vs. nWo World Tour, was the game that set the standard of pro wrestling games and fighting games because of its focal point: The unrivaled game engine that was very simple to play, but difficult-yet-addicting to master thanks to the many available gameplay options. WCW was WWF's competitor at the time, and to see a game dent WWF's fortunes shows how big this game is. WCW/nWo Revenge was the tipping point where WWF decided to actually buy the competition away from WCW to do WWF Wrestlemania 2000 and WWF No Mercy, which later on led to WCW's demise and later on purchase from WWF. What made these 4 games great is that while it adds new features, it only refines the core gameplay without mass overhauling the game's engine like other wrestling games. WWF No Mercy, the last of the series, is the Trope Codifier of pro wrestling games, to the point that even hardcore fans today have modded it to match the current roster such as NXT. WWF Backlash (2001) was also in development for the Nintendo 64, but that game was never completed. Despite Syn Sophia suggesting Yuke's to WWF for SmackDown development for PlayStation, it is unknown why WWF and Syn Sophia separated ways in favor of Yuke's for the Nintendo Gamecube.
      • Kenny Omega and Cody mentioning that this game will take time to develop and wants to make this the best pro wrestling game ever, thanks to the above mentioned. This is a shot at WWE's practice of releasing a game every year and lowering the quality testing, which was the result of WWE 2K20's abysmal launch that set the pro wrestling bar very low. This is also a shot at TNA (Impact Wrestling) for rushing their game and getting such mediocre reviews that it did not release a sequel after that, even with some input from AJ Styles and Samoa Joe who were known gamers and also wanted a No Mercy like game for TNA.
    • The "Paid Advertisements" featuring Tony Khan and Tony Schiavone during Kenny Omega's invasion of Impact Wrestling is full of digs at that promotion. Doubles as Biting-the-Hand Humor, given that the clips are being shown on Impact! itself (then again, a big part of the digs is that by paying for the ads, Tony Khan is helping fund Impact!).
      • In the first ad, Tony Khan brings up Schiavone's one-off appearance early in TNA's run:
        Khan: You spent a cup of coffee in Impact Wrestling yourself, didn't you, Tony?
        Schiavone: Yeah, one night, and then I quit the business for eighteen years.
      • In the second advertisement, Schiavone gets the input of two wrestlers known for their runs in TNA:
        The two greatest wrestlers in Impact history now with AEW: Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian. [...] You know, I asked Daniels and Kazarian "Remember when Impact had fans when they were TNA?" And they said "No, we don't."
      • Schiavone also throws in a few shots at AXS TV while he's at it.
        It's great to be on cable AXS TV. Following this program, you will see the latest city council meeting.
        Lesson number one would be where to watch AXS; I don't even know where to find it. If you ask your smart TV to put on AXS, it says: "Dude, why?"
    • Another shot at WWE at Revolution 2021 when the "Face of TNT" ladder match required the winner to climb a ladder and grab a huge brass ring.
  • Wham Episode:
    • The March 18, 2020 episode of Dynamite revealed a debuting Brodie Lee as The Leader of the Dark Order, and closed with Matt Hardy also joining AEW.
    • The special December 2, 2020 Winter Is Coming episode of Dynamite featured two major reveals. The first was Sting becoming All Elite, walking out to break up a post-match brawl with his presence alone. The second was Kenny Omega winning the AEW World Championship, and subsequently revealing that he would be celebrating his victory on the next week's episode of Impact!. The reign of the Belt Collector has begun.
    • The March 10, 2021 Dynamite saw Chris Jericho call a "war council" of the Inner Circle. First, Sammy Guevara, who had left the stable due to MJF's antics, came back, showing a video which revealed MJF had been plotting to usurp Jericho's leadership. Then, the rest of the stable revealed their continued loyalty to Jericho, who kicked MJF out... only for MJF to reveal he had started his own stable, which proceeded to beat down the Inner Circle.
    • The second episode of Rampage, on August 20, 2021, began with the long-awaited return to professional wrestling of CM Punk after being retired for seven years, making his debut on AEW in the process.
    • The 2021 edition of All Out pay-per-view was this, seeing Adam Cole debut, seemingly looking to challenge Kenny Omega, only to reveal that he was joining the Elite. And if that wasn't enough, just as Omega was about to gloat about his victory, Bryan Danielson finally makes his AEW debut.
    • The special two-year anniversary episode of Dynamite on October 6, 2021 saw the unveiling of the new TBS Championship title, as well as Adam Page's dramatic return to the ring for the first time since his humiliation at the hands of the Elite. The episode ends with Page emerging victorious in the seven-man Casino Ladder Match after being revealed as the "Joker"—finally giving him his long-awaited shot at challenging his former mentor for the World Championship title.
  • Wham Line:
    • After Kenny Omega defeated Jon Moxley for the World Championship, then immediately booked it for the back with Don Callis:
      Alex Marvez: Guys, what did you do, what's going-what's going on here?!
      Don Callis: You'll find out this Tuesday night!
      Marvez: "Tuesday"?! Dynamite's on Wednesday!
      Callis: This Tuesday, Impact Wrestling on AXS TV!
    • After Jericho kicked MJF out of the Inner Circle:
      MJF: Chris, I swear to God I didn't want to take over your group. I swear, I swear, man... (slows down) 'cause I was too busy... building my own! (smirks)
    • On CM Punk's Dynamite debut, he seemingly goaded the crowd into starting up a "Yes!" chant with several rhetorical questions. His response to them?
      CM Punk: That's somebody else's schtick, and you might just need to be a little bit more patient, okay?
  • Wham Shot:
    • The company's first PPV Double or Nothing 2019 ended featuring one. Chris Jericho is gloating in the ring after defeating Kenny Omega, demanding a thank you from the fans, before the camera cuts to a very familiar, very lunatic man stalking through the crowd and heading to the ring (after having become famous in another company for entering the ring through the crowd, no less).
    • The end of the March 18, 2020 episode of Dynamite has the Inner Circle gloating over their win against The Elite, when a white drone appears. A very familiar white drone.
    • At the end of the "Beach Break" special episode on the 3rd of February 2021, following his team's loss to the team of his hated rival Kenny Omega and the Good Brothers, Jon Moxley is about to put some pain into Omega, when a masked figure in a hoodie runs out and attacks him... who then unmasks to reveal himself as KENTA, who not only has an upcoming challenge against Moxley for his IWGP US Heavyweight Championship, but is also a current member of the actual Bullet Club in NJPW! It looks not only like the "Forbidden Door"note  may be finally opening, but a full-blown intercompany Bullet Club reunion may be coming as well!
  • Where It All Began: The 100th episode of Dynamite takes place in the former-Sears Centre (now NOW Arena) in Chicago where ALL IN took place exactly 3 years to the day of the latter.
  • Would Not Hit a Girl: In an episode of Dark Elevation Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky state in a promo that they would go after all the champions — except Shida. Scorpio actually backpedals after saying her name and he and Ethan agree that she is safe from their wrath.
  • Wrestling Doesn't Pay:
    • At AEW's initial announcement, Britt Baker was introduced as "Dr. Britt Baker DMD"...note  which is exactly what she is outside the ring. Baker graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine in 2018, and has a dental practice in the Orlando area.
    • One of the promotion's early storylines concerned two wrestlers being given the gimmick of "The Librarian", a wrestling librarian. Cody and Kenny backed Leva Bates for the role of The Librarian, while Matt Jackson and Christopher Daniels backed Peter Avalon for the role. Eventually, both Librarians met each other at the Double or Nothing Buy-In, and subsequently managed each other in their matches.
  • Wrestling Monster: AEW has an impressive roster of monster wrestlers:
    • Jake Hager debuted at the end of the first episode of Dynamite as the enforcer for Chris Jericho's new faction, the Inner Circle, providing most of their serious muscle.
    • MJF hired the services of the hulking and brutal Wardlow as his personal bodyguard.
    • Lance Archer came into the company as the client of Jake "the Snake" Roberts and murdered everyone who got in his way, in keeping with his Catchphrase "Everyone dies!" He has a tendency to attack random ringside crew and other personnel on his way to the ring, perhaps the most notable incident being when he gave a pop-up powerbomb to a random guy on the locker room. A locker room with a very low ceiling, resulting in the guy crashing through the roof before landing on the floor.
    • Brian Cage, "the Machine", is an almost Brock Lesnar-esque construct of solid muscle and callous brutality.
    • More recently, Nick Comoroto has drawn comparisons to Bruiser Brody for his size and in-ring viciousness.
    • For the women, the intimidating Nyla Rose is the leading monster of the division, and the second Women's Champion after eventually overcoming the petite Riho who'd defeated her before. They also had Awesome Kong at the start, but she had to leave to shoot the next series of GLOW. The legendary Aja Kong has also made occasional appearances.
    • Although she's smaller than the usual "monster", Abadon is pure nightmare fuel incarnate, like a female version of The Fiend in her howling psychotic brutality.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: While AEW is the Spiritual Successor to WCW, they can't actually say WCW, because WCW is owned entirely by WWE, who bought it up for pennies at the end of the Monday Night Wars. Notably, when Sting made his iconic debut on the "Winter Is Coming" episode of Dynamite, Tony Schiavone and Jim Ross could only refer to him being "back on TNT" after not having been seen there "since 2001". Similarly, during the aforementioned Puppy Battle Royale, Schiavone said "This match is better than anything I called in 2000."

Alternative Title(s): AEW


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: