INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 01: (L-R) CM Punk, President of All Elite Wrestling Tony Khan and Britt Baker, D.M.D. attend TBS's AEW Dynamite Los Angeles Debut After Party at The Forum on June 01, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Discovery)
It’s an Independent Company
AEW got its start in 2018 when Tony Khan teamed up with the wrestling faction called Elite and formed a brand-new company, built from scratch. WCW, however, was born when media mogul Ted Turner purchased the pre-built wrestling company called Jim Crockett Promotions with its existing talent.
Different Media Landscape
In WCW's heyday, TV ratings were the chief gauge of a show’s success, with print magazines being the best source of information. Today, TV ratings have lost much of their relevance, and while AEW doesn't have a proper streaming home yet, they make extensive use of YouTube and have an official podcast.
Only Tony Khan Runs AEW
Ted Turner was never present at WCW’s daily tapings and didn't book the cards, instead hiring Eric Bischoff to do it for him. AEW owner Tony Khan, however, is present every day, ensuring that each show offers the best wrestling matches the company has to offer, and he’s pleased to work behind the scenes.
AEW Builds New Talent
Both WCW and AEW have had former-WWE stars, but WCW failed to cultivate its own talent, and once the big names were gone, WCW failed quickly. AEW, on the other hand, keeps nurturing young talent, and wrestlers like Hangman Adam Page and MJF have been built up from scratch, without relying on ex-WWE icons.
Legends Help Young Talent
Current AEW legends like Chris Jericho, CM Punk, Sting, and Vicki Guerrero act as mentors to the new talent and do their best to help the young stars. While these veterans ensure that their opponents look like a million dollars, WCW big-shots like Hulk Hogan spent their time suppressing young talent.