When AEW launched Dynamite last year, the news soon followed that the weekly show would air in the UK on ITV4. A great result for a US based wrestling company that had never so much produced a single episode of television.
However, it soon transpired the show would not air live and in fact, the only way to watch live would be on FITE.
When asked by TalkSPORT on the possibility of airing the show live, AEW executive Cody Rhodes said:
“Oh, definitely not impossible. TNT is out partner here in the US and they pay a great premium to have our product on, so you want to respect both sides of the coin.
I think so [we will look to improve it]. I know that Tony and myself, we have a real vested interest in the UK. I’ve always just loved the UK wrestling scene. That’s why I spent so much time there after I left [WWE].
So, we do everything we can, whether that be AEW Plus on FITE or with ITV and our partners there, but one thing that’s really helpful is the data that we get.
The whole revolution we talk about is genuine, so I think it’s something we’re looking into as far as the potential to not having the delay. We love being on ITV and that’s where we would prefer to be because they are in so many homes and they’re such a staple of the United Kingdom, but, to your point, we want fans to have the best opportunity to see our show.”
Whilst bring Dynamite to the UK on live broadcast, another landmark moment for the promotion will be their first live event in the UK; surely a ‘when’ rather than an ‘if’.
On this point, Rhodes was keen to stress that they want to bring AEW to a UK audience as soon as possible:
‘There’s still plans for us coming over to the UK. I know right now with everything going on it’s very difficult, but that’s still a big goal of mine just personally. I know other people share that goal, but I think if you’re a wrestler you just have to wrestle in the UK.
It’s a different environment, a great learning experience, and we have a lot of great young men and women who need to learn, so that situation will only improve.
As the brand grows larger on a worldwide scale – take for example the toy deal and having these wonderful conversations with Smyths, toy distributors in the UK. Thinking about that makes my day. It gives us confidence and a lot of hope and I think as a longtime wrestling fan it makes you feel good when you know the product is supported – it gives you hope.”
The only question on when they come to the UK is where and how big. AEW owner Tony Khan’s family own Craven Cottage, the home of their football team, Fulham FC. Khan’s father Shad was also linked an audacious bid to purchase Wembley Stadium last year too just in case they wanted to follow the ‘go big or go home’ mantra.
AEW clearly has a large and growing fanbase in the UK. When life starts to return to post-pandemic normality, we can surely expect more and more opportunities to get our Elite fix.