Pro wrestling’s future is brighter than ever, and it is all thanks to the young and hungry talent willing to put it all on the line. The independent scene has created some of the top stars to watch out for, and everyone wants a piece of them. With so many stars, how does one even separate themselves from the rest of the pack?
One platform has been able to showcase these individuals for the world to see. One moment can make a difference between where you started and getting that ultimate push. AEW Dark has become the epicenter of creativity.
For about two+ hours every Tuesday night, wrestlers from various backgrounds have been able to prove themselves to those watching on YouTube. The program, a lighter version of AEW Dynamite, also features wrestlers from the main roster. Their roles vary from enhancing storylines to finding TV time to shake off ring rust.
Dark has essentially been a job interview for some. Anna Jay and Abadon both found their footing on Dark, and now both are major players; Jay is in The Dark Order while Abadon just recently fought for the AEW Women’s Title. For months, Red Velvet was able to showcase her skills in the ring before eventually showing up on the main roster. Teaming up with Brandi Rhodes, Velvet recently made herself known by involving herself in the drama between Jade Cargill and Cody.
Other singles stars like Scorpio Sky and Brandon Cutler have made Dark theirs. Cutler in particular was able to make a losing streak a valuable part of the program, especially when facing Peter Avalon. Will Hobbs was also able to prove his value on Dark, while Leyla Hirsch looks to be a game-changer within women’s wrestling.
The program is also good for forming tag teams, young and old. Chaos Project (Serpentico and Luther) was formed on Dark and the team has proven to be a solid fit. After signing with AEW, Anthony Bowens and Max Caster were able to form The Acclaimed. AEW is filled with tag teams, but these two have been able to break out and have a series of solid matches against The Young Bucks and SCU. Experimenting at first, just like that, they were able to make a difference.
“I love that people get to watch us grow,” Caster would end up telling Sports Illustrated. “That’s so different from the indies, where you’re constantly wrestling in front of a new crowd. Now we have a national television network and a massive wrestling company. From DARK to Dynamite to pay-per-view, we’re going to earn our opportunities and be in demand.”
Recently, Nick Comoroto was able to show up on AEW Dynamite and gave former AEW World Champion Jon Moxley a true challenge. It was a debut that many were happy about. While it is unknown his future in AEW, a national audience had their eyes on Comoroto. The same could be said for Danny Limelight, who main evented a show against Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) January 21, 2021
Speaking of experiments, Britt Baker was able to expand her wrestling role with The Waiting Room, a Piper’s Pit-like segment. Dark’s platform helped grow the segment into a main roster ratings stealer.
Dark continues to innovate, and the results have been extremely positive. As time goes on, it will be interesting to see how the program evolves. The future has arrived, and they are knocking on AEW’s doorstep.
Who will be the next one to step up?