This past Wednesday on AEW Dynamite, you would have been forgiven for believing Adam Cole misspoke when he said AEW All In was coming to Wembley STADIUM. Not the much smaller Wembley Arena, not Craven Cottage as most people assumed, not even the O2 Arena that will play host to WWE Money in the Bank in July, actual WEMBLEY STADIUM.

This still feels unbelievable nearly a week later simply because of the size of Wembley Stadium. England’s famous Home of Football has an official capacity of 90,000. Now this number can be knocked down when you take into account the stage setup but it can also be increased if the stage is small and you factor in all the floor seating. Either way, it’s by far the largest venue AEW has ever run in the company’s short history.

So far, the largest venue AEW has filled is the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City. On September 22nd 2021, AEW were able to cram in just over 21,000 fans for an episode of Dynamite (alongside a Rampage taping) that was headlined by Kenny Omega vs Bryan Danielson. Although 21,000 may not seem massive in comparison to WWE’s WrestleMania shows that often sell upwards of 60,000 a night, it was still a hugely impressive number for a company that was only two and a half years old at the time. Now, two years later, they’re looking to more than quadruple that record number.

But is it possible?

The main selling point of this show is obviously the location. It’s no secret that British wrestling fans have been crying out for an AEW show since the early days of the company’s existence. The hunger for this show has only been intensified by constant teases pretty much since day 1 of AEW. As far back as 2020 there were firm plans in place for AEW to come to the UK. AEW President Tony Khan even confirmed that Fyter Fest 2020 was due to be held in Wembley Arena but due to COVID-19 shutting down the entire world, it was moved to an empty Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, Florida.

Then in January 2021, former AEW Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes was once again talking about the possibility of a UK show. He had this to say on Chris Jericho’s podcast:

“To me, the UK have been committed to WWE for so many years based on one SummerSlam. ‘They came here that one time.’ WWE was all over the UK and did a great job, but I don’t think they get near enough service for how good and loyal of wrestling fans they are. I want to prepare that big tour.”

Cody Rhodes, 2021

But as the world opened back up and AEW were able to start performing in front of live crowds once again, any talk of a UK show seemed to die down. Now there were probably a number of reasons for this including the departure of Cody Rhodes who, at least publicly, appeared to be one of the driving forces behind taking AEW overseas. There was also the aforementioned Arthur Ashe show in New York to focus on, the first Forbidden Door show that placed AEW stars up against NJPW stars for the first time, as well as a recent expansion into Canada. That entire time, the UK audience waited patiently.

Even with all this rabid anticipation, it’s only fair to question how many AEW fans there actually are here in the UK. On social media the fans would have you believe there’s hundreds of thousands waiting to fill this huge stadium, but as we’ve learned in the past, Twitter doesn’t always reflect real life. Having said that, AEW’s popularity in the UK is probably bigger than you might think. Tony Khan has even gone on record as saying AEW is actually more popular than WWE simply due to it being shown on ITV 4 which is a free to watch channel, compared to WWE that is shown on BT Sport that comes with a monthly paywall. Talking about his love for London, Khan had the following to say to TalkSport earlier this year:

“I love the whole city so much, and I have to say, AEW is the number one wrestling company in the UK on television. It is a fact.”

“AEW draws much bigger TV ratings in the UK than WWE does. We have a bigger audience week-to-week for our shows.”

“I cannot speak to every country in every ratings market but I will say AEW is number one wrestling company in the UK on TV thanks to our great partnership with ITV which we are excited to continue.”

Tony Khan, 2023

Although all of this is true, it’s hard to say for sure how many of these weekly ITV viewers would actually want to attend and travel to a live show. Only time will tell.

The rest of Europe.

Another huge factor that might decide whether or not they can sell out Wembley Stadium is the fans across the rest of Europe. Not only is this the first ever AEW event in the UK, it’s also the first ever AEW event outside of North America. So make no mistake, there will be die hard fans in Paris, Dublin and other areas of Europe who will happily make the short trip across the pond for this show.

It’s not gone unnoticed that AEW are purposely doing one show, that’s it. They could have easily done a house show tour that included arenas in Scotland, the north of England, maybe a Dynamite taping in a London arena alongside a few shows across Ireland, France, Germany and Spain. However they’ve backed themselves to be enough of an attraction that fans from all those areas will travel to Wembley for one gigantic event. It’s a ballsy move, that’s for sure. It could easily backfire if viewers aren’t willing to travel and All In ends up having 20 to 30,000 people in a 90,000 seat venue. However, if it works then All In will give AEW their first ever WrestleMania-like visual in only their fifth year as a company. They truly are going All In once again.

The Card.

It’s also no coincidence that the show is called All In. It will only be the second ever All In show and the first one under the AEW umbrella. The first All In show was of course ran independently by the Young Bucks, Kenny Omega and Cody Rhodes with some assistance by Ring of Honor. The idea of going ‘All In’ and backing themselves to sell out a 10,000 seat arena without it being a WWE branded event was unheard of back in 2018, and was of course the catalyst for AEW to even exist in the first place. Back then they were told it couldn’t be done, now they’re being told the same thing once again.

Branding this show as All In then is very savvy when you think about it. Not only is it the first time that fans across the UK and Europe can attend an AEW event, but it being All In gives those fans a feeling that they’re part of history. It makes them feel that they are changing the game and backing something they love. The UK isn’t just getting AEW, they’re getting AEW’s biggest show to date, and with that knowledge comes the belief that the card will match the hype.

One reason it may have taken this long to announce the show is that AEW have had to deal with a multitude of injuries and suspensions throughout 2022 that may have put them off touring outside of North America if they couldn’t bring their full roster. Now, aside from the CM Punk saga, AEW are pretty much at full strength and will be able to put on the greatest show possible. What that show will look like is a conversation for a different day (keep an eye out right here at Respawning, wink wink) but most fans are likely to buy tickets with the thought process that this will be the company’s strongest card to date.

Time to get off the fence.

With all this being said, will AEW actually be able to sell out Wembley Stadium? Personally, I think they can. It won’t be easy, but it’s possible.

There are a number of factors that need to go AEW’s way. People from all across Europe will need to commit to making a weekend of this. The card will need be strong to sell out that upper bowl and convince a more casual fanbase to make a day trip to London to see some big stars and match ups. One thing that is for certain, though, is that the core UK fanbase will be there in big numbers. Multiple reports have already come out stating that Ticketmaster have received 25,000 presale signups since the announcement. This is already a larger number than AEW’s record attendance, so maybe running Wembley Stadium wasn’t so crazy after all?

It’s also worth remembering that Tony Khan is a big data analyst and knows London well given he owns Fulham FC. He wouldn’t risk looking silly in a Stadium of this calibre if he didn’t believe they can fill it. It’s obviously a huge task and it will be a monumental achievement if they can pull it off. Time will tell.

AEW All In at Wembley Stadium takes place Sunday August 27th. Tickets go on sale Friday May 5th and you can still sign up for pre-sale links here:

Written and edited by Mikey.