In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer noted that there are a ton of people on WWE’s main roster and in NXT that have inquired about going to All Elite Wrestling.
Meltzer noted that there are different reasons why wrestlers would want to go to AEW but one key reason is the lighter road schedule. Tony Khan has talked about wanting to make things better for the wrestlers and that includes giving them more time off to rest. On Wade Keller’s podcast, Jon Moxley talked about the brutal road schedule and he suggested for WWE to change their schedule to allow wrestlers more time off. He specifically pointed out how wrestlers will work house shows a week before WrestleMania and wondered why WWE would risk having their talent get injured before their biggest show of the year.
Meltzer noted in the Observer that the feeling among people in NXT is that it will take longer to get to the main roster and it’s harder to become a star in WWE because of how things are done. Ricochet and EC3 are the two latest examples of wrestlers that were expected to get higher spots on the card on the main roster but they have floundered. Ricochet started out strong when he was in tag matches with Aleister Black but he’s been the victim of 50/50 booking in recent weeks. EC3 has been relegated to lower card status, mostly doing dark matches and WWE Main Event and chasing the 24/7 comedy title.
These days, WWE is less likely to fire someone and that is why some are not ready to take the risk of leaving. Also, AEW is not looking to sign every ex-WWE star because they have a budget and they don’t want to come across as WWE-lite.
With that being said, it will be interesting who decides to make the jump. Obviously, if a top WWE star leaves the company, AEW would likely sign that wrestler. Last weekend, at the AEW Double Or Nothing post-show media scrum, Dustin Rhodes said that he received about 30 text messages from people in WWE. Chris Jericho said on his podcast that he has heard from a lot of current WWE talent that can’t wait to tell their story as Jon Moxley did on Talk Is Jericho.
As far as contracts coming up in WWE, the ones that are publicly known are Mike and Maria Kanellis (contracts expire this month), Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson (contracts expiring this Fall) and The Revival (contracts expire in the spring of 2020). The belief is that The Revival will eventually land with AEW when they leave WWE.
Dustin Rhodes and Shawn Spears wrestled on Double Or Nothing in Las Vegas. Rhodes will likely take a backstage role at some point. Spears is not under contract but hopes to get signed and Jon Moxley signed a multi-year deal.
For those of you that missed it, here is Moxley’s AEW debut: