AEW’s Tony Khan admitted that he is more than happy with his current roster. Even the likes of Jericho snubbed the chance of certain WWE stars working for the company.
However, the truth is, the company would be foolish to pass on some names that might be available. In this article, we’ll highlight certain stars whose deals might be expiring while evaluating if AEW should have an interest in them.
We’ll also identify holes in the roster and how AEW can patch them up with some significant additions. We’ll take a look at talent around the world, including WWE, ROH, New Japan, Impact and other companies. With the TNT debut looming, we expect some additional splashes to their talent pool.
Enjoy the article, folks. Let’s get started!
16 Sign - LAX
According to Tony Khan, he is more than content with the current roster and not actively shopping for other talents.
Dave Meltzer recently dismissed this claim, linking AEW to the popular tag team LAX. This would be a brilliant move and one that can ramp up the excitement for their tag division. However, it is also believed that WWE also plans on making a strong push for the duo.
15 Avoid - Enzo & Big Cass
From a team they need to sign to one they should avoid. Let’s credit Enzo and Cass however, they did a good job on getting their name back out there following an ROH appearance.
The truth is, we just can’t see the team becoming a fit given how top tier the current roster talent is. Add in Cass and Enzo’s troubled history behind the scenes in the recent years and that makes these two pretty much a team to avoid.
14 Sign - Zack Sabre Jr.
Technical wrestlers are scarce in the current world of pro wrestling. Daniel Bryan is a standout, though nobody comes close to the technical skills of someone like Zack Sabre Jr.
Given his unique ability, this would be a huge signing for AEW. However, at the moment, he remains loyal to New Japan along with other indie promotions.
13 Sign - AJ Lee
AEW needs a credible face to lead the women’s division. Kharma is a huge signing but in truth, an even bigger name is needed to rival WWE’s division.
That can come in the form of a retired WWE star, AJ Lee. In fact, AJ recently admitted that she isn’t taking wrestling off the table for good - that leaves the door open for a possible debut down the road.
12 Sign - Rhyno & Arn Anderson (Behind The Scenes)
AEW needs to make significant moves behind the scenes as well. One of them can be to bring in former WWE agent Arn Anderson, one of the most respected names in the business. Arn has also stated that he is very interested in the role.
Rhyno is another talent whose WWE deal is coming to an end. Rhyno wants to transition into a coaching role, developing the younger talent – he can join Billy Gunn in that type of position.
11 Avoid - Jerry Lawler
Jim Ross dropped this bombshell recently, according to Wrestle Talk Ross wants to reunite with Lawler on the AEW program.
This wouldn’t be the worst idea, however, it might be better for AEW to take a different route with new voices on the commentary team. It is also said that FOX wants Lawler on SmackDown when they debut – so the odds seem to be stacked against AEW at the moment.
10 Sign - Rusev
The company admitted that their interest in those on the WWE roster is quite low. However, there are certain talents AEW would be foolish to look over.
Rusev is one of those names – his contract is set to expire with still no extension in place. A motivated Rusev can help the company – it’ll also add another credible name to the roster.
9 Sign - Emma
When Brandi was asked about Emma back in January, she would mention that the former WWE star was unable to sign due to her contract with ROH.
However, given her recent IG post, it seems as though that deal recently came to an end with Emma now accepting bookings from various indie promotions from around the globe. This can open the door for a big boost to their women’s division.
8 Sign - Luke Harper
Another unhappy WWE employee AEW needs to sign is Luke Harper. He’s perhaps the most underutilized WWE star in the last decade. Harper has so much talent in the ring, though Vince just isn’t a fan which has caused his demise in the recent years, at least as a solo talent.
We can see his value finally skyrocket against the likes of Kenny Omega and Adam “Hangman” Page.
7 Avoid - TJ Perkins
Given his recent comments with Mandatory, Perkins seems to be high on the AEW product. He has a relationship with the Young Bucks as well, meaning he can possibly sign with the company.
Before that takes place, it might be best for Perkins to restore his confidence out on the indie scene. His WWE run hurt his name. The best bet, for now, would be for Perkins to rebuild on the indies and then join AEW once his stock heightens again.
6 Sign - Moose
We assume interest might be limited when it comes to the Impact roster. However, there are faces AEW should not undermine. We touched on LAX earlier, and Mosse is another wrestling star the company seriously needs to look at.
For the time being, he continues on with Impact, slated for a match against RVD at Slammiversary. Surely, he can do better with AEW taking on vets like Y2J instead.
5 Sign - Cain Velasquez
In early August, Velasquez will make his pro wrestling debut over in Mexico at TripleMania. His partner for the night – AEW’s Cody.
Some are hoping this leads to Cain joining AEW. That would be huge adding such an MMA star – not to mention the added bonus of having a mixed martial artist that defeated Brock Lesnar in real-life.
4 Sign - Jay White
It seems like New Japan is always creating new stars. AJ Styles, Finn Balor, and Kenny Omega were some of the names to carry the torch in the past. At the moment, the guy seems to be Jay White - who is truly hitting his prime.
The signing can be huge adding a young and new heel into the rotation. The company needs fresh acts – Jay White can be the perfect candidate once his New Japan deal expires.
3 Avoid – Lio Rush
We can’t discredit his obvious talent. Rush is great in the ring and a gem on the microphone – all of this at the age of 24.
It would seem like a dream signing, however, issues backstage hurt his reputation. AEW needs to avoid such signings, at the very least till Lio Rush proves he’s a changed man out of the ring.
2 Sign - Will Ospreay
Arguably the most talented wrestler in the world, Will can change the playing field drastically for AEW.
The unfortunate reality, given his recent comments, the signing is unlikely to happen, though he did kind of leave the door slightly open, “Probably not. Unless, if NJPW does a little business deal with them. I hope they do, I really do. I’d love to do some work with AEW. But as far as ‘Would I sign a contract with AEW?’. Absolutely not” (Source, Wrestle Talk).
1 Sign – CM Punk
This would put AEW on a different pedestal. Just imagine AEW making their television debut led by Jericho, Omega, the Young Bucks and CM Punk.
That would instantly change everything while bringing in so many additional viewers given the lure surrounded Punk and his return to the squared circle. We expect a big signing prior to their TNT debut, Punk definitely fits the bill.
Sources – Wrestle Talk & Mandatory