Potential AEW Purge Is Exactly What WWE Needs Ahead of Fox Move

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2019

Dean Ambrose is leaving WWE in April.
Dean Ambrose is leaving WWE in April.Credit: WWE.com

WWE programming had problematic ratings in 2018, and things continue to be trending down at the start of 2019. Needless to say, management needs to do something drastic.

According to Wade Keller of PWTorch.com, WWE saw record low viewership for Raw last year more than once. 

Moving SmackDown to Fox on October 4 will help as the broadcast network can reach more fans than the USA Network, but the switch is only going to do so much. 

This isn't the first time the biggest wrestling promotion on the planet has found itself in need of a boost. We all remember how the Monday Night War started.

WCW added Monday Nitro to its programming to compete directly with WWE Raw. Over time, Eric Bischoff helped poach some of WWE's most recognizable faces and began winning the Nielsen ratings battle on a weekly basis.

Stars like Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Big Boss Man, Ted DiBiase, Bret Hart and many more jumped ship, and WWE was forced to do whatever it could to compete.

Some are speculating we could see the same thing happen with All Elite Wrestling, especially with Chris Jericho bragging about how good his deal is. According to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Marc Middleton of WrestlingInc.com), it's the best contract the 48-year-old has ever had. 

There are those who would see this as a bad thing, but there are a couple of good reasons to believe a talent purge by AEW would be the best thing for WWE right now. 

                         

It Would Solve the Overcrowding Problem

In recent years, WWE has recruited far more names than it has released, leading to a crowded main and developmental roster.

People who are ready for the main roster, such as Tommaso Ciampa, Aleister Black and Shayna Baszler, are spending more time in NXT than necessary because there is no room for them on Raw and SmackDown.

When it comes to the main roster, things are even worse. The six new NXT call-ups haven't been used well since being brought up from the developmental system, and some veterans are experiencing lulls in their careers.

WWE doesn't want to let talented Superstars slip through its fingers, but at the same time, it can only keep so many people happy at once.

Dean Ambrose is leaving WWE in April, and if it isn't revealed to be part of a storyline, more people might follow him out the door if they feel unfulfilled. 

Hideo Itami recently requested his release, and considering he didn't win a single title in his five years with the company, it's easy to understand why he was frustrated. 

Jack Gallagher posted an episode of 205 Life on Twitter detailing Itami's final week with WWE. Anyone who is a fan of the Japanese Superstars should take a few minutes to watch it. 

If enough people like Ambrose and Itami were to jump ship to AEW, WWE would be able to focus more on the talents who stick around.

                        

WWE Flourished After the Last Talent Purge

When WWE lost some of its biggest names to WCW, Vince McMahon had to act fast. He handpicked a few Superstars and put the company machine behind them.

Triple H and DX, Kurt Angle, The Rock, Steve Austin, Edge and Christian and The Hardy Boyz all found themselves being pushed to the moon after most spent time working the midcard scene.

WWE also began using veterans such as The Undertaker in different ways. The Deadman went from a spooky demon to a badass on a motorcycle. The change helped rejuvenate his career and made him fit in better during the Attitude Era than he would have with his original gimmick. 

Women such as Lita and Trish Stratus were also given more prominent roles and helped prove females could produce wrestling that was just as exciting as the men's version.

When WCW began suffering, WWE continued to thrive. Making Mick Foley the WWE champion was the catalyst the company needed to turn the tide in the battle for ratings supremacy.

When Tony Schiavone spoiled the title change, it had the reverse effect. Thousands of fans tuned in to see Mrs. Foley's Baby Boy achieve his lifelong dream of winning the biggest prize in pro wrestling. 

The competition with WCW forced WWE to think on its feet, and it ended up being just what the company needed. 

AEW might not provide the same level of threat WCW did due to how big WWE has become in the last 20 years, but if it can steal enough names away from McMahon, his company will be forced to rethink how it handles its Superstars.


What do you think? Would a talent purge from AEW force WWE to make changes for the better? Who do you think will jump ship to the new promotion?

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