SXSW 2024

Disrupting the Long-Monopolized Pro Wrestling Industry


In 2018, Tony Khan identified an opportunity to provide fans with an alternative, mainstream pro wrestling product for the first time in decades. The birth of All Elite Wrestling forever changed the industry, and five years later, not only has the promotion improved competition and lifted smaller promotions, but also pushed the boundaries of compelling professional wrestling, creating new fans in the process. From showcasing real-life entrepreneurialism to giving wrestlers the capacity to reinvent themselves on their own terms, AEW’s rise is based on an unprecedented playground for creativity.

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  1. For the first time in two decades, professional wrestling fans have a viable mainstream alternative to consume, which benefits the entire industry.
  2. Wrestling fans have a more vested interest in the product when wrestlers have freedom to be creative with character development and storylines.
  3. Wrestlers’ quality of life has improved under AEW’s model of allowing them to pursue projects outside of AEW, both within wrestling and elsewhere.



Erin Cizek, Managing Supervisor, FleishmanHillard

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Creating Film & TV
  • Track 2
  • Level: Advanced

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