The big story this week, and probably the big wrestling story of the year, is the formation of All Elite Wrestling.
They already have a nice roster with a mix of some well-known names and some lesser known names that fans will end up loving because of their in-ring work.
WWE has known about AEW for months and they’ve been doing everything possible to sign away some of their top talent. Chris Jericho was in talks with WWE until late December and then made the call to Vince McMahon to let him know that he was taking the AEW deal.
Kenny Omega turned down a very generous offer from WWE that would have paid him main event level money. He would have likely been positioned as one of the top stars in the company.
Hangman Page also turned down a nice money offer from WWE and opted to sign a long-term contract with All Elite Wrestling and the same goes for Cody Rhodes.
In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, it was reported that The Young Bucks were offered a deal that has never been offered before. Their contract offer was in the range of what WWE Champion AJ Styles makes and they offered to put their “Being The Elite” YouTube series on the WWE Network.
In addition to that, they also offered them a six-month window that would have allowed them to leave their three-year contract if they wanted to if they weren’t happy with their push.
An offer like that from WWE is unheard of and shows just how much they wanted to keep AEW from getting off the ground. It also illustrates how hard The Young Bucks have worked to increase their market value.
People in WWE that had knowledge of the deal offered to The Bucks were certain that they wouldn’t turn it down and outright told Dave Meltzer that they would be debuting at the Royal Rumble and they would have been booked in a significant storyline for WrestleMania. A WWE source said that it was mind-boggling that they were offered that type of contract and even more mind-boggling that they turned it down.
The Bucks had roughly 12 hours of talks with Paul “Triple H” Levesque and they heavily praised him for how everything was handled.
Obviously, if The Bucks had decided to take the WWE deal then it would have likely shut down any possibility of AEW starting up because they were key names that needed to be in place for TV talks.
The fact that they turned down such a good deal shows how confident they are about getting a strong TV deal. The word on the TV deal is that they have two strong networks on the table and the show would be live and 2 hours every week.