It’s no secret that WWE is offering big money to keep wrestlers from signing with All Elite Wrestling.
Some will use AEW as leverage with the intent of getting a bigger WWE contract but there are some wrestlers in WWE who are willing to turn down a bigger contract if they can get a fair deal with AEW.
“I know he just started and he hasn’t done a whole lot with them yet but [Jack] Swagger is already a bigger deal with them than he was when he was here,” said one WWE star. “They talk him up as a MMA badass instead of an ex-WWE guy and that’s smart of them to do. And they have done so much to get over those younger guys. There’s something about the way everyone is presented that is appealing.”
One WWE star noted that it’s easy to take a bigger contract from WWE but so many wrestlers have been promised bigger pushes if they chose to re-sign and some promises have been broken.
The feeling among some in WWE is that there are too many wrestlers on the roster and WWE has so much money that there’s no limit to the amount of names they can add to the roster so the best thing for some is to see if AEW is interested because there’s only so many TV spots available.
“Let’s just state the obvious,” another WWE star told me. “Vince is still in charge and nothing will change until he steps down and that might not happen for another 10 years or more. A lot of guys realize this and some will take the money but some guys have a lot of money saved up and that AEW schedule looks really good.”
“I don’t know how many of us watch AEW but I know a few guys and girls here that watch the show every week. You can’t deny that their shows are great. My friends there say there’s no bullsh** politics there and no walking on eggshells like WWE’s backstage. Jericho going there made it okay to say ‘yea, WWE is not the end all be all and I’ll be fine if I decide to leave.’ It doesn’t hurt that [AEW’s] schedule is much easier on the body.”
AEW wrestlers are working at a maximum 1 day per week. Tony Khan has said that he doesn’t plan on running a full-time touring schedule like WWE does. AEW’s schedule allows wrestlers to spend more time with their families and gives them more time to heal up. That is something that is very appealing to many of the wrestlers on the WWE roster.