All Elite Wrestling bringing hard-hitting action to Norfolk,
NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Big league pro wrestling is back in Hampton Roads Wednesday, but it’s probably not what you’re thinking.
For 20 years, that just meant WWE was coming to town. But, Wednesday is a whole new experience for pro wrestling fans in Hampton Roads.
All Elite Wrestling will be at Chartway Arena at Old Dominion University for its Dynamite and Rampage television shows.
The promotion formed in 2019, the brainchild of billionaire Tony Khan and wrestlers Cody Rhodes and Nick and Matt Jackson, the brotherly tag team known as The Young Bucks. They all noticed an appetite from fans for a mainstream, more action-based alternative to WWE, which hadn’t seen major competition since WCW closed in 2001.
Two years later and it’s a competition indeed. AEW is thriving. Ratings for Dynamite are on par with WWE’s top shows. AEW’s pay-per-views have become must-watch events.
The competition is a win for fans and wrestlers alike. Big names like Bryan Danielson, Adam Cole, and once long-retired CM Punk have come to AEW for a fresh start both in-ring and creatively.
Legends of the business are involved too. Paul Wight, formerly known to many fans as The Big Show, came to AEW as a commentator and part-time wrestler back in February.
“I really saw what AEW was doing and as a wrestling fan and as a pro wrestler as someone who owes his entire livelihood to the fans and the people that I work with, I needed to go where I make the most impact and AEW offered that for me, ” said Wight, who has wrestled for major promotions for more than 25 years.
The promotion also has become a launching pad for younger talent. That includes the newly crowned AEW World Champion, Virginia native “Hangman” Adam Page. Late Beverly Hills 90210 star Luke Perry’s son Jack Perry has also made a name for himself as “Jungle Boy.” There is also the growing women’s division, headlined by champion Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D., who is an actual practicing dentist when not wrestling.
Ricky Starks is another young and rising star. He joined AEW in 2020 after years in smaller promotions around the world. In June, he became the FTW Champion, a belt he has held since. He says AEW is the perfect platform for a wrestler like him.
“This was a young company that was actually willing to give young people a chance to take risk on guys who don’t have a name value and build,” Starks told 10 On Your Side. “Compared to other places I felt I had a real chance to thrive here.”
The tapings for Dynamite and Rampage will begin at 7 PM Wednesday night at Chartway Arena. For information on tickets, click here.