London is calling, but San Diego is next for upstart professional wrestling promotion AEW.
AEW — All Elite Wrestling — will produce two nationally broadcast television shows, “AEW: Dynamite” and “AEW: Rampage” on May 31 from Viejas Arena on the campus of San Diego State University.
It’s the first time AEW has been in San Diego and it comes at a critical time for the young promotion that was founded in 2019 and has become the biggest challenger and rival to the more established WWE.
The San Diego show will be just three days after AEW holds “Double or Nothing,” a major pay-per-view event featuring all of it stars.
Meanwhile, the company just announced that it is launching a third television show, “AEW: Collision,” on June 17. An AEW video game is coming out two weeks later, on June 29. And on August 27, AEW will hold its first European show at iconic Wembley Stadium in London, England.
“Everybody is excited, but more than that excitement, everybody is ready for it,” said AEW commentator Mark Henry.
Henry, a former champion weightlifter and Olympian who became a professional wrestler best known for his success with the WWE, has been with AEW since 2021.
He said AEW shows always have raucous crowds and he expects a party atmosphere for Wednesday’s shows in San Diego, especially coming off “Double or Nothing.”
“There’s always a shakeup after the PPV,” he said. “The PPV is the culmination event of whatever stories are going on. Expect a party.”
Henry said he will be at the show for his usual role introducing the main event at “Rampage.” In addition, he enjoys his work behind the scenes coaching younger talent in the promotion.
Although Henry’s wrestling days are behind him, he said Darby Allin would be a dream opponent because of his different style. He also described MJF as someone who will be an all-time great.
It hasn’t been announced which AEW wrestlers will appear in San Diego, but Allin and MJF are featured on the poster for the event, along with several of the promotion’s big stars. The “AEW Dynamite” shows usually feature stars from the main roster.
As of Tuesday, the Ticketmaster web site was still listing tickets for the show, which has a 4 p.m. start time.
“I’m excited about coming to San Diego,” said Henry. “It’s one of my favorite cities in America.”