All Elite Wrestling originated from a single highly successful pay per view on September 1, 2018, called All In. The show was created in response to a comment by Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer about Ring of Honor not being able to sell 10,000 tickets for an event, by then ROH contracted wrestlers Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks. The show sold out in 30 minutes and attracted a crowd of 11,263 to the Sears Centre in Chicago – the first show since 1993 to attract such a crowd outside of WWE or WCW.
The success led to Cody and the Bucks forming the promotion with the assistance of Tony Khan and his father Shahid. After leaving ROH, the trio were soon revealed to be co executive vice presidents, upon the formal announcement of the promotion’s formation on New Year’s Day, 2019. The initial roster included some of the ROH talent, plus Chris Jericho and Pac (AKA Adrian Neville) from WWE. Kenny Omega then became the fourth co-vice president.
AEW scored a TV deal with Warner Media in May 2019, just before their first official pay per view, Double or Nothing. At the event another former WWE wrestler debuted in Jon Moxley (AKA Dean Ambrose). Warner Media’s TV station is TNT – the same network that hosted WCW’s Nitro. Double or Nothing was another success and had rave reviews.
These successes were noticed by WWE and when AEW announced it’s weekly program for Wednesday nights from October, WWE moved it’s NXT programming to the USA Network in order to compete. With a two week headstart, NXT nevertheless fell behind Dynamite when it debuted.
Meanwhile, AEW had more pay per view events – Fyter Fest, Fight for the Fallen and All Out (exactly fifty two weeks after All In) before the debut of Dynamite. They then built to the last event of 2019, Full Gear, before Revolution in early 2020.
AEW has continued to function during the COVID-19 pandemic. It presently has no presence on Australian television.