AEW fans don’t worry, the WWE is not invading AEW. As of late, Tony Khan and AEW have signed some former WWE talent to be on their roster. Mark Henry, The Big Show, Matt Hardy and Christian Cage are all known as great locker room guys and they will help the young talent in and out of the ring. Also in signing Mark Henry, AEW now has a guy who can spot young/raw talent like he did with Bianca Belair and others in the WWE.
Some of you have been worried since the All Out PPV back in 2019 when Chris Jericho became the first AEW Champion. Jericho is a star known worldwide and has been a main stay at the top of the wrestling world for years. Jericho winning the title made AEW a serious player, more importantly, he had not been a WWE guy for quite some time.
Adding good talent is great for business as you have more talent to work your weekly TV shows: Elevation (Mon), Dynamite (Wed) and Rampage (Fri). AEW booking former WWE talent is not a problem if they continue to push their homegrown talent as well. Tony Khan is making the right moves by bringing in former WWE talent while blending them in with AEW vets and his up and coming young wrestlers.
Learning From Past Mistakes
Khan being a wrestling historian knows that WCW’s downfall started when they pushed new talents from WWE over the WCW vets. Many of the pushed over vets (Eddy Guerrero, Jericho and The Big Show) would leave the promotion and become bigger stars in WWE. AEW should and will continue to push Darby Allin, Jungle Boy, MJF and others while incorporating newly acquired talent.
WWE has also let go of talent that they didn’t know what to do with. I don’t see AEW having that problem. They have already put Malakai (Aleister) Black in a good storyline with Cody Rhodes. Miro (Rusev) has been branded as a dominator while being the TNT Champ. CM Punk is going to be matched against one of AEW’s best competitors in Darby Allin. Where WWE has dropped the ball with these talents, AEW has had a slam dunk with.
AEW fans should welcome the “possible” signings of Daniel Bryan, Bray Wyatt, Braun Stroman, and Adam Cole. These competitors will make the roster much deeper and they are going to help mature the younger talent. The organization can also survive a rash of injuries to their top talent by having a roster of wrestlers used to headlining major shows.
Freedom To Wrestle Outside AEW
Another thing that makes AEW attractive to former WWE talent is that they can wrestle outside of their organization, meaning talent can operate as independent contractors. AEW performers can make more money by doing special appearances in other organizations while building their brand and promoting AEW to other fanbases around the country/world.
Let’s not forget, WWE will have their eye on AEW talent as well. So, when some wrestlers’ contracts are up, WWE will look to poach and pilfer from AEW’s roster. Vince McMahon and WWE still have deep pockets and will be able to snatch some AEW wrestlers in the future.
There is a growing opinion among AEW fans that continuing to hire former WWE wrestlers is not a good long-term business strategy. AEW has done an outstanding job of establishing itself as a viable alternative for wrestling fans. Tony Khan and AEW must maintain its identity and continue to promote former WWE talent in the image of AEW as they evolve.