On April 5th AEW announced that it will be coming to the United Kingdom for the first time on Sunday, August 27th.
The event marks not only the first time that AEW has been to the UK but the first time that a wrestling event has been held at Wembley Stadium since SummerSlam in 1992.
The announcement, and more specifically the venue, caught many fans by surprise due to its sheer size.
While the prevailing theory has always been that the promotion would debut at Craven Cottage, they’re going much bigger and heading to Wembley Stadium. Not only is the 90,000-seater stadium multiple times bigger than Fulham F.C’s Craven Cottage, but it’s also the biggest venue AEW has ever booked.
For reference, AEW’s biggest attendance to date is a little over 20,000 which came during their first visit to Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York in 2021.
Writing in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer dived into why the company decided to run such a huge venue.
Meltzer noted that there were “logistical reasons” why a show at Craven Cottage would be difficult, including that it’s located in a residential area, adding that compared to Wembley it is also not cost-effective. The report also states that based on the theory that you only have one chance to make a first impression, and with shows in New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto in the history books, London was the last place left to run a gigantic debut show.
There is also the belief that the show will strengthen the relationship with ITV and Warner Bros Discovery.
“The hope is that the show will help the relationship with ITV, and hopefully WBD, since they are marketing this around the 100th anniversary of Warner Brothers and the 100th anniversary of the original Wembley Stadium. They also expect this will strengthen the visibility of the company in Europe, and just running such a big show itself will get the company more exposure.
The brand awareness should hopefully help AEW+ subscriptions in the U.K. and the places it is available in Europe, as well as the visibility could open up business partnerships and television partnerships throughout Europe.”
Meltzer closed by saying that the positives of putting a big crowd inside Wembley Stadium outweigh those of selling out the o2 Arena.
“The idea of a show at Wembley itself is a big part of the draw, because by being at Wembley the idea is that it’s history. That wouldn’t be the case at the O2 Arena or at Craven Cottage, which are places that a second or third show may end up being at. Drawing a full house in those buildings wouldn’t have the benefit the hope is for this show to have.
But costs of running are higher and the risk is greater. The partnership with Live Nation to promote it locally is also a key.”
#AEW’s highly anticipated UK debut will take place at the iconic @wembleystadium on Sunday, August 27!
Tickets for AEW: All In London go on sale Friday, May 5 at 9am BST. Fans can pre-register now for early access to purchase tickets at https://t.co/YIOZYIJTETpic.twitter.com/JEeMlu4LAV
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) April 6, 2023
CM Punk Could Be Back In AEW For All In
The news of AEW All In came shortly before it was reported that CM Punk could be returning to the company. On April 13th it was reported that tentative plans are in place for his comeback, rumoured to be on or around June 21st at an AEW Dynamite taping in Chicago.
It is believed that Punk will head up AEW’s yet-to-be-announced new Saturday show, with the roster split between that and Dynamite.