The booking of AEW borrows a lot elements from different periods of wrestling. If you pay attention closely to the booking, one of those styles AEW borrows from often is from King’s Road.
What is King’s Road? Well… King’s Road is the booking style used by Giant Baba in the 90’s in AJPW. This style focuses more on longer term stories in the ring. Not all long-term booking is King’s Road though, Baba would avoid using gimmicks and other American wrestling elements to build feuds. One of the main characteristics of King’s Road is how wrestlers would interact with each other the more they faced one another, and of course how the story evolves.
Not everyone is familiar with AJPW and their legendary run in the 90’s, but another modern day example of King’s Road is NJPW. The Omega-Okada feud is the perfect example of King’s Road outside of 90’s AJPW.
How is AEW a King’s Road promotion?
To start, AEW obviously still uses gimmick and segments to build feuds, something Baba didn’t in AJPW. But the matches in AEW do borrow a lot of the essence of what King’s Road is.
Hangman Page’s run in AEW has pretty much been King’s Road-esque, and still is. Look at this most recent feud with Adam Cole… Hangman was doubtful of facing Lance Archer in a Texas Death Match, but after winning that match against Archer, he gained the confidence to challenge Cole to a match with the stipulations he was doubtful of previously.
Another example in AEW is the feud of Darby Allin and Cody Rhodes. Darby was never able to beat Cody at first, but each time they faced one another he came one step closer to beating him. When he finally did it, Allin became TNT Champion for the first time.
In short, yes AEW—in a way—is a King’s Road promotion.