Meet The AEW Roster
With Double or Nothing happening on Saturday, I figured it would be a great idea to take a look at the wrestlers that have signed with All Elite Wrestling. A new company is always nice to see, but one of this magnitude has not been seen since the days of WCW. Will AEW challenge WWE? Yes. Will they run WWE out of business? Not a chance. Will they push WWE, and Raw specifically, to be better? Absolutely. Wrestling fans around the world will be the winners, as we will see a great product from AEW, and a rejuvenated WWE with a new challenger to their wrestling throne. So who exactly was considered all elite for this company? I could just talk about Cody, Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks and Chris Jericho with their high up spots in the company, but let's take a look at some of the other names in the company, and some names that you may not have heard of before. Maybe help you find some new favorite wrestlers. While we all know the Bucks, Omega, Jericho and Cody, let's meet the rest of the roster.
Oriental Wrestling Entertainment (OWE)
This is still a rather young wrestling promotion, only having formed in 2017. It is also one of the more fast paced wrestling promotions. It has a great bunch of talent coming out of an untapped country for wrestling potential in China. Some wrestlers that have wrestled for the promotion are Shingo Takagi, Bandido and CIMA along with more. A working relationship between these two companies is a great thing to see and I can’t wait to see where it goes.
Lucha Libre AAA World Wise (AAA)
This is a rather well known promotion, and many big names have come from it. There is a multitude of wrestlers that we could see wrestle for AEW. You have Wrestlers like Drago, El Terrible, Laredo Kid, and many more. You could also see a bunch of fantastic wrestlers on a big stage for the first time, which is a fantastic way for the fans to see just what these luchadors can do.
Talk about a true diamond in the rough. When Hangman Page joined Bullet Club, it was a head scratcher addition to say the least. Here was a kid that wasn’t proven yet, but man did he mature super quickly. He entered his first World Tag League with Yujiro Takahashi in 2016, and finished second in the A Block. Takahashi and Page entered World Tag League again in 2017, and again fell short. Page broke out in 2018, and had a fantastic year. He looked great in a United States Championship match against Jay White, and even entered his first G1 Climax, earning six points and picking up wins against Bad Luck Fale, Togi Makabe and Minoru Suzuki. With his dangerous Buckshot Lariat and his Right of Passage finisher, Page will be a big player in the build up of AEW.
He is the best junior heavyweight that nobody is paying attention to. Angelico first came into the wrestling world spotlight with his dive off the top of Dario Cueto's office and drop kicking a member of The Crew off of a ladder during a Trios Title match for Lucha Underground. Ever since, wherever Angelico has gone, people have taken notice. He is an incredible high flyer, but what often gets lost in the shuffle is the fact that he is a very sound technical wrestler. He is a very well rounded wrestler, and at only 32, Angelico still has time to shine in the wrestling world.
I think that Daniels is one of the best wrestlers but has never been able to win the big one. He is someone that has always looked great and has won multiple titles and tournaments in pro wrestling. He is a two time Super 8 Tournament winner, an IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion, a former Ring of Honor World Television Champion, a four time ROH World Tag Team Champion, a four time TNA X Division Champion, a two time World Tag Team Champion, a six time NWA World Tag Team Champion, and won the World X Cup. It wasn’t until March 10, 2017 that Daniels would finally win his first ROH World Championship. At almost 50 years old, Daniels hasn’t lost a step and will be a key player in AEW.
I will be the first to admit, before the pairing of Best Friends, I hadn’t heard the name Chuck Taylor on the independent scene. But once I found him, I became a fan. Taylor isn’t someone that is going to be doing springboard 405’s or Shooting Star Presses, but he is a very solid wrestler. He is a tag team specialist teaming with Trent, yet he is always a fun watch in the ring and has a lot to be a fan of. Best Friends is a great tag team, and has a very fun dynamic in the ring. AEW will be a great place for them to showcase this.
This might be the best pro wrestler that you have never heard of. CIMA has been doing this for quite some time now, 22 years to be exact. He has transitioned from being a fiery upstart to being the leader of the Strong Hearts stable in OWE. Yet in all those years, CIMA hasn’t lost a step. He looked just as good in 2003 in a match with Daniel Bryan as he did in 2019 in a match against T-Hawk. CIMA is always looking for a pin or submission. He can tie you in knots, and then pin you, or cave your chest in with kicks and double stomps all day. CIMA is a great veteran voice to have in the locker room at AEW, and will be a great veteran going forward for them.
When you look at Darby Allin, he is someone that gets labeled as a deathmatch specialist. While he may excell at that match type, he is a very good wrestler as well. He has a unique offense, and his finisher, The Coffin Drop, is rather unique. Allin is by far the smallest wrestler signed to AEW as of right now, so a lot of his matches will be him as the underdog but Allin wouldn’t want it any other way. Also, the fact that there isn’t a hardcore match between Allin and Jimmy Havoc at Double or Nothing is a crime against wrestling.
If you have read anything I have ever written, you will know that I am not afraid to say when I am not a big fan of someone. I’ve done it with Yoshinobu Kanemaru and a few others. Fenix is another one of those wrestlers. I like him, he’s great in the ring, but there is some disconnect there for me. I think that you look at Fenix, he is a young and has all the tools needed to succeed in the wrestling world. I think that in AEW, we will see Fenix flying around and thriving. While he is debuting as a part of Lucha Bros. with Pentagon Jr, I think he would thrive in the singles division of AEW and shouldn’t just be used as a tag team star.
You want to talk about the model of consistency in the wrestling world, look no further than Frankie Kazarian. In his 21 years of his career, Kazarian has faced a lot of the big names, but has also faced a lot of up and comers, yet every time he is in the ring, no matter who he steps in there with, Kazarian always has a good match. Kazarian’s flexibility with wrestlers in the ring is his biggest assets, as he seems to have good matches regardless of who is across from him in the ring.
If you are a fan of high flying wrestling, then you will love Jack Evans. This man can fly around the ring like it is nobody's business. He has a 630 splash and a double moonsault in his arsenal, along with a whole lot more. Also he may have the best Pele kick in the sport right now. He is another wrestler that has had a lot of matches with big names that people may not have known that have happened. He’s faced the likes of the Young Bucks (while teaming with Angelico), Seth Rollins, AJ Styles, Brody King and many more. I am very excited to see Jack Evans get the chance to thrive on the big stage for the first time in his career.
This man is probably laying somewhere in Vegas just drenched in blood. Havoc is a deathmatch specialist, and his match with Paul Robinson on the final night of Super Strong Style 16 2019 is a great example of this. To be completely honest, I think Havoc is the reason that AEW got a TV-14 rating. If Havoc can find a reason to bleed, he will. What people shouldn’t look past in Havoc is his wrestling prowess. This was on display at the WCPW World Cup English Qualifier, where he was able to out wrestle Zack Gibson and go toe to toe with Zack Saber Jr., but came up short. Havoc will be an interesting one to watch in AEW.
The fact that we are going to be able to see Joey Janela wrestle for AEW is nothing short of a miracle. This man, like Havoc and Allin, is a deathmatch specialist, and the amount of abuse that he has taken is insane over the years. I think that you look at Janela, and he is someone that has a good wrestling background, but when he gets the chairs, the light tubes, the barbed wire, the thumbtacks and anything else he can get his hands on, this man takes it to another level. I am convinced that they have to make a hardcore title for AEW, just for the fact that Janela, Havoc and Allin are all in the same company.
This one is all about the potential. Jungle Boy showed great improvement from year one to year two in the ring, and AEW is hoping that he can continue this trend. It seems like he is on his way in the wrestling world now, and he has the world at his fingers. Jungle Boy seemed to gain a lot of strength between years one and two. He was able to lift heavier opponents; and made them look very easy. Don’t let his size fool you, Jungle Boy has the most untapped potential and he will continue to grow as a wrestler.
The whole strategy of Kip Sabin is to ground his opponents and prevent them from flying or moving around. He is someone that isn’t going to impress fans with his flashy moves or fancey tricks. He is a very solid wrestler, and that is enough for him in the ring.
MJF is someone that is all about the gimmick. He thinks that he is better than you and willing to take the risks that are able to pull out all the cool move and win the match. I think with MJF, he is someone that has a lot of fun with his gimmick, and it shows. He is always out there having fun with what he is doing. What helps MJF is his selling. He is someone that doesn’t go the extra mile and oversell, but he does just the perfect amount to look great after getting hit with a big move. Plus since he is a snobby rich kid, you just want to see him get punched in the mouth, and it’s nice to see it be sold so well.
What’s interesting about Nakazawa is that while there's very little tape on him, from what I have seen, he is a very big move wrestler. He has a few moves that are rather impressive, but to me he is still a little rough around the edges, but he can make it work. Whether it’s a reunion with his old tag team partner Kenny Omega or a run as a singles star, Nakazawa will fit right in with AEW.
If you miss Neville in WWE, you may get to see him here. Pac has continued his ruthless side, and he has looked damn good in the ring. Pac returned to the independent scene when he turned up in Dragon Gate in early October last year. He immediately joined the R.E.D. stable. Pac is currently the Open the Dream Gate Champion, and has not lost a match since leaving WWE. Pac will definitely be a big player in AEW.
This guy can just be brutal, and has a fantastic look. Pentagon is someone that has a ton of talent and at such a young age he can only continue to grow as a wrestler. I think that he has that ‘it’ factor that not many wrestlers have. His package piledriver is dangerous and he has a lot of fantastic moves. I think that once the AEW championship is revealed, Pentagon will be a major player for that title, but with the lack of tag teams, he and Fenix may be in the tag team division for a little while. I am very excited to see Pentagon in AEW, and can’t wait to see what he does.
If you are looking for someone to play the slithering slimy heel role (ala Baron Corbin in WWE) then Peter Avalon is the early front runner for that role. He’s not the biggest, and actually maybe the smallest wrestler that has signed with AEW, but he is more than willing to wrestle dirty to get the advantage. He actually is a solid wrestler to boot, and his selling is very good, he is just going to have to find ways to hang with the bigger and stronger wrestlers. He’s also not a guy that is going to be flying around the ring like others will in this promotion, but that will help him stand out from the pack.
I think this is a tag team that everyone can get behind. You have two guys that just ooze charisma and have fun while they are in the ring.These guys have been hitting moves I have never even seen before. There tag team chemistry is through the roof, which is why so many people can get behind them. They are such a good tag team and some of their tag team moves are just insane. There is a top rope hurricanrana into a cutter, there is a rope flip trick where one goes onto the others back then flips back in and hits a Tornado DDT, and even a codebreaker and then the wrestler becomes a launch pad for the other to hit a shooting star press. Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen are just fun to watch and I’m upset that I didn’t see them sooner. I’ll make a prediction right now, Private Party is going to have a big say in who becomes the first AEW Tag Team Champions.
This guy is so talented in the ring. He is what you want to see in a junior heavyweight, super fast, a lot of high flying moves and just enough power to boot. I think Guevara could be in for a breakout year, and AEW is just the place for that. You have this 25 year old kid, who is just ready to have his break out moment and a new major wrestling promotion needs to make new stars, enter Guevara. He has already had matches against the likes of Ricochet, Shane Strickland, Mike Bailey, Drago, and I think I saw Trevor Lee in there somewhere. He is ready to make his name and show the entire world that he is ready to take things to the next level.
He is the oft forgotten member of SoCal Uncensored, but he is another very talented wrestler. I think that he is still a tad bit rough around the edges, but that is part of the deal with SoCal Uncensored. They like to play it rough and this allows Sky to fit right in. I think that you look at the roster of AEW and how Sky fits into all of it, maybe he and Kazarian go into the tag division, or maybe they recruit a new member and have them team with Sky allowing Kazarian and Daniels to go to the singles ranks. It will be very interesting to watch Sky and see how he improves in AEW.
If this guy looks familiar, you would be right. Say hello to the former Tye Dillinger, and where he will be in his post WWE Career. While he never got the chance to show the world just how good he is in WWE, he will get that chance in AEW. Spears is someone that has a little bit of everything from fantastic mat wrestling to great striking and a fantastic moveset. I am very excited to finally see Spears get his chance to shine on a big stage. It’s the chance that Spears needs, and I think that he will thrive in a new home in AEW.
I think Sonny Kiss embodies what a lot of the AEW roster brings to the table. You see the flashes of brilliance from them in the ring, but you don’t see it consistently enough yet. AEW is going to have to help these younger wrestlers stick out, and Sonny Kiss is one of them. Sonny Kiss is talented, there is no doubt about that, but just something is missing for me. Kiss already has the make yourself stand out from the crowd down as he has a very flamboyant gimmick that most other wrestlers wouldn’t even dare attempt. I think that Kiss has the potential to the next level, just he and AEW need to be able to push to that level.
This guy has been sooooooooooo good since leaving WWE. He has found success in PWG, New Japan, Dragon Gate USA and many more. Barreta is a very talented wrestler, but has always seemed to have a hard time living up to his potential. He has found most of his success in tag teams around the world. In WWE he was with Caylen Croft as the Dudebusters, and in New Japan as a part of the CHAOS stable he won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships with Rocky Romero four times as Roppongi Vice. Surprisingly, Best Friends has never won a tag team title, but that could all change in AEW. I am looking forward to seeing this version of Trent Barreta thrive in a major promotion in the states.
I think that Allie is someone who is just a step or two off of being a fantastic wrestler, and it's all in the footwork. Where some wrestlers only take three steps, Allie takes four. I think that she just needs to get her footwork down and she will be all set. Her moves look crisp, and she has a new life after dying on Impact a few months ago. I think that there is a lot of potential for Allie in this new division. In Impact, she was always the underdog and had to come from behind. I think that with this new division, all the women are on even footing, and Allie can get that fresh start that she needs.
Bea Priestley might be the slickest women’s wrestler today. She is a very good catch wrestler and also knows how to follow it up by continuing her offense. Priestley has wrestled all around the world and become one of the biggest names in women’s wrestling. While she is tying the rest of the division in knots, she will be the centerpiece of the division, always circling back into the title scene, and may very well be the first ever women’s champion. I think that Priestley still has her best years ahead of her as she will only continue to grow and become an even better wrestler.
This is the other women I think will be at the forefront of the women’s division in AEW. Don’t let the near perfect teeth fool you, Britt Baker isn’t afraid to get down and dirty in the ring. She is another wrestler that is very slick and just gets it. Baker is one of the women that helped put women’s wrestling on the map and also helped establish a women’s division in Ring of Honor. Now that women’s wrestling is thriving, and Baker has made her name, it’s time for her to be a leader for a new division, one that is very young and needs a veteran voice to lead them.
Next to Kenny Omega, Hikaru Shida may have the best knee strikes in all of pro wrestling. I think that Shida has come a long way in her wrestling journey. She has won championships all around Japan and now it’s time for her to show the western audience just what she can do. I think that they will want to build up Shida a bit in the division. Shida is someone that has a lot of potential and has lived up to it, but now in a major wrestling promotion, it’s time for Hikaru Shida to shine.
Also known as ‘Smiley Kylie’, Kylie Rae is another slick women’s wrestler. I also think that she will be the woman that they plan to build up the most and she can become one of the wrestlers whose stock raises the most in the wrestling world thanks to AEW. She has a lot of potential and is already great in the ring at 26 years old. Rae is ready to shake up the women’s wrestling world and become the next big deal, and All Elite wrestling is the perfect place for her to showcase her abilities.
I’ve been a fan of Bates for a while, but in an already stacked women’s division, she kinda feels like just another name. Bates is going to have to do something different to stand out and be different from the other wrestlers. Bates is a solid in ring talent, but with a group of wrestlers as talented as the AEW women’s division, just being a solid wrestler is not enough to get ahead in the company.
Nyla Rose is the first transgender women’s wrestler to sign with a major wrestling promotion, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. But what’s more important is the role she is going to be playing in the AEW women’s division. Every women’s division has a big powerhouse heel that just destroys the smaller women, and Rose is perfect for the role. This will also be a lot of fans first time seeing Rose, and a great way to introduce her is to have her look like the big strong heel against loveable Kylie Rae and Britt Baker.
Right now there's a bit of mystery as to what Penelope Ford will be doing in AEW. She is the manager of Joey Janella, but she is also a very underrated wrestler. She is someone that would help round out this growing division and allows for her to continue to improve in the ring.