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At the risk of making a bad pun, the new promotion All-Elite Wrestling appears to be going all in when it comes to producing a first-rate product that offers wrestling fans an alternative to today’s product. With billionaire businessman Shahid Khan investing in All Elite and wrestling entrepreneurs Cody and the Young Bucks guiding it, fans are anxious to see who will fill up the roster. Here are the ex #WWE stars the promotion needs to sign.
***TOP 10 SPOILERS***
There’s no doubt that Goldberg’s name recognition is something that would help All Elite draw in viewers. Goldberg’s worth was seen when the WWE brought him in for a program against Brock Lesnar. Without going into fantasy booking, Goldberg would be best used in special appearances and definitely not as a champion. There are two concerns with bringing in Goldberg, the first is his age. At 52, he’d have to be in the right condition to wrestle, even if he works the limited move-set he’s well-known for. The other is the cost to AEW. The WWE might start a bidding war just to sign Goldberg and keep him away from their would-be competitor.
Speaking of Goldberg, consider Ryback Reeves, a former WWE Superstar who some saw as either a poor man’s version of Bill Goldberg or this generation’s version of “Who’s Next.” Ryback has been doing well for himself on the independent circuit and he could give AEW a power-based wrestler to provide some variety for a promotion full of technical workers.
8. Enzo and Big Cass:
“The Realest Guys in the Room” would be a major boost when it comes to bringing in a fan favorite team to AEW. Enzo and Big Cass were extremely over with the WWE Universe and their break-up was executed way too early in the team’s run. While either man could be a singles star in AEW, they would best be used as a tag team initially, with AEW deciding where to go from there.
7. CM Punk:
CM Punk has repeatedly stated he’s done with wrestling, but now that his MMA career seems to be a bust, it’s possible he’d be comfortable competing on a national level for big money—particularly if he could help AEW succeed against the WWE, proving his worth all over again.
6. AJ Lee:
AJ Lee proved that women don’t have to boast a traditional beauty to be seen as sexy. Her undeniable charisma, energy, and in-ring ability made her quickly jump to the top of the WWE’s women’s division and she would do equally well in AEW whether she served as a manager or an in-ring performer. Lee has explored options other than wrestling such as Hollywood and her New York Times bestseller Crazy is My Super Power, but a return to wrestling would help put her back in the national spotlight.
5. Wade Barrett:
As you’ll notice, several of the names on our list are wrestlers who were over with WWE fans, but failed to get consistent pushes. Wade Barrett is a gifted wrestler with a lot to offer to any promotion and made a cameo appearance on the season 4 finale of Lucha Underground.
4. Austin Aries:
Despite being 40 years old, Austin Aries doesn’t seem to have lost a step in the ring. While Aries size may have been a problem in the big-man oriented WWE, he’s proven adaptable in every other promotion he’s worked in and would be able to offer help developing young talent while still participating in the ring. Aries’ status with TNA is murky, the only thing keeping AEW from signing him.
3. Damien Sandow:
Another wasted talent in the WWE, Aaron Steven Haddad aka Damien Sandow showed he had the abilities to main event during his time in Impact Wrestling, but like Wade Barrett, he’s currently focusing on acting.
2. Alberto Del Rio:
Jose Alberto Rodriguez is a star that AEW should consider signing, not so much for his WWE career, but for his time elsewhere such as CMLL, Triple A, and Japan. Rodriguez is an international star who has shown he can work in a variety of promotions including domestic ones such as the WWE, Ring of Honor, and Impact Wrestling.
1. Kenta Kobayashi:
Former kickboxer turned professional wrestler Kenta Kobayashi boasted a successful career in Japan’s All Japan Pro Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Noah as well as Ring of Honor.
The following honorable mentions all have the star power and/or wrestling ability to capture fans attention, but we didn’t put them in the main list because for one reason or the other they seem out of reach for AEW roster…at least for now.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin:
Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows:
I’m Jerry Jenkins, as always thanks for watching and don’t forget to put a like, subscribe and leave your opinion in the comments below!
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