All Elite Wrestling (AEW) is once again making a significant impact outside the ring with their annual event, Fight for the Fallen. Established in 2019, this charity wrestling event has been a beacon of support for various causes over the years. This year’s Fight for the Fallen will be especially poignant, as the company has announced a change in the schedule due to the recent tragic wildfires in Maui, Hawaii.
A Change in Schedule: Fighting for Maui
Tony Khan, AEW’s President, took to social media on Friday afternoon to announce changes to next week’s shows in response to the wildfires in Maui. The upcoming Dynamite/Rampage tapings in Nashville, TN, and Collision in Lexington, KY, will be part of AEW Fight for the Fallen 2023. Proceeds from these events will go directly to the Maui Food Bank, reflecting the company’s commitment to providing assistance to the affected community.
Khan’s heartfelt statement read, “Based on the horrific fires in Maui, I’ve changed AEW’s upcoming schedule to provide assistance. Next week on Wed/Fri/Sat, it’s AEW Fight For The Fallen 2023 on #AEWDynamite #AEWRampage #AEWCollision. Proceeds from AEW on 8/16 Nashville + 8/19 Lexington will go to @MauiFoodBank.”
Witnessing the Disaster: Dustin Rhodes’ Experience
Dustin Rhodes was in Maui with his wife during the wildfires, shared his harrowing experience on social media. The couple evacuated from their location near Lahaina, a town destroyed by one of many brush fires, and were fortunate to find accommodations on the other side of the Island.
“Prayers for everyone in Maui including my wife and I,” Rhodes wrote. “We were without power or food since early Tuesday morning […] Been a helluva day.”
The Maui Wildfires: A Historic Tragedy
The Maui wildfires have claimed 67 lives, left at least 11,000 people without power, and destroyed more than 1,700 structures, including the Na ’Aikane o Maui Cultural Center. The event has been described by Hawaii Governor Josh Green as “likely the largest natural disaster in Hawaii state history.”
Criticism has arisen over the failure of Hawaii’s emergency warning system to alert residents. President Biden has declared a major disaster, highlighting the urgency of the unfolding climate catastrophe and drawing attention to the complex history of the islands.
AEW Fight for the Fallen: A History of Giving
AEW Fight for the Fallen is not new to rallying support for urgent causes. Since its inception, these events have raised money for victims of gun violence, those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, non-profit organizations, marine life, and more.
The inaugural event took place in Jacksonville, Florida, on July 13, 2019, to support gun violence victims. The following years saw the event evolving, even broadcasting as a special television episode and expanding into a two-part television special in 2022.
Below is a brief history of past Fight for the Fallen events:
- 2019: Jacksonville, Florida, supporting victims of gun violence.
- 2020: COVID-19 relief, featuring Jon Moxley vs. Brian Cage.
- 2021: Charlotte, North Carolina, supporting victims of domestic violence and sexual assault survivors.
- 2022: Worcester, Massachusetts, supporting marine life and oceans around the world.
AEW’s Fight for the Fallen 2023 is a wrestling event with a cause at its heart. The quick response to reroute proceeds to support Maui’s wildfire victims demonstrates the organization’s dedication to social responsibility. As the world watches the unfolding disaster in Hawaii, AEW’s efforts stand as a timely reminder that even in the world of sports entertainment, real-life tragedies necessitate real-life responses.
Fans can tune in to AEW Fight for the Fallen 2023 on #AEWDynamite, #AEWRampage, and #AEWCollision next week, knowing that their support goes beyond the thrill of the match and reaches those in desperate need in Maui.