Scouting Talent: 10 WWE Superstars Who Should Jump to AEW | Smark Out Moment

Scouting Talent: 10 WWE Superstars Who Should Jump to AEW

Posted by Callum Wiggins Monday, December 10, 2018
Cody Rhodes All Elite Wrestling AEW Ring of Honor ROH WWE
Ever since the demise of WCW way back in 2001, professional wrestling in the United States and worldwide has been dominated by one promotion, WWE. It's approaching 20 years of unrivaled authority, no matter how many people will tell you that TNA could have run them close with a bit more luck.

However, rumors have been swirling about the arrival on the scene of a new entity that could hope to challenge this hegemony - AEW, or All Elite Wrestling.

What makes the prospect of AEW so interesting as it would combine the financial backing of the billionaire Khan family, with patriarch Shahid Khan's net worth of over $7bn greatly eclipsing Vince McMahon's $2.9bn, and the most recognizable wrestling group outside of WWE, The Elite of Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks (potentially joined by IWGP Champion Kenny Omega).

Now, even with this financial muscle and extremely popular faces of the promotion, AEW would face an uphill battle to ever challenge WWE. It's the biggest name on the planet for many reasons, recently signed multi-billion dollar television deals with USA and Fox, and has remained untouched against other US promotions like TNA and Ring of Honor.

But, people pretending AEW, with greater financial backing and building off the success of All In and the Being the Elite YouTube series, couldn't at least establish itself as a noisy number two promotion in relatively short order.

The Young Bucks All Elite Wrestling AEW Bullet ClubTo have any hope of doing that, they'll need bring on board some of the biggest names on the independent circuit outside of the Elite members, as well as either poach talent or work out deals with top stars in other promotions like Impact Wrestling, ROH, AAA, CMLL and NJPW.

And, if there is substantial money available and they gain national television exposure, then it wouldn't be a surprise to see a few names that are disillusioned within WWE swayed by the prospect of a new experience.

It would certainly be a gamble due to the financial security WWE offers. But some might see this as a chance to follow in Cody Rhodes' footsteps (literally and figuratively) and pursue greater work satisfaction in another promotion.

10 WWE Superstars That Could Join AEW

In developing this list of 10 WWE superstars that could join AEW, I had to take into account several factors: they're current position in WWE, their age, their likely salary, and their potential to achieve a more prominent status in a rival promotion.

For these reasons, there are several names you might not agree with on my list, and several I've ignored that others would consider certainties, like Samoa Joe, Bray Wyatt, Apollo Crews, Asuka and Tye Dillinger to name a few.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on who you'd like to see leave WWE and find a new home in AEW in the comments below, but for now, here are my picks:

#10 - SAnitY

First on the list I've included the collective of SAnitY, not including Nikki Cross, who seems to be held in very high regard still in NXT. The same cannot be said for her erstwhile teammates, who since joining SmackDown Live have been completely irrelevant. Following a debut feud against The New Day that did nothing to present them as dangerous or interesting, SAnitY have been rarely seen at all on the blue brand.

The caveat of this team one day leaving WWE for AEW is Eric Young who, at 38 years old, might want to take full advantage of likely his last big pay day in professional wrestling after so many years with TNA and on the independent circuit. While Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe aren't considerably younger, they still might feel they have untapped potential that can be better showcases in a promotion like AEW, either as a tag team or, particularly in Dain's case, singles stars.

#9 - Hideo Itami

Oh Hideo Itami. Originally considered an outstanding coup by NXT in 2014, the years since have not been kind to the former KENTA. Itami currently finds himself in the desolate doldrums of 205 Live, and so, regardless of where AEW get their TV deal, it is almost certain that Itami would be performing in front of more viewers each week if he jumped ship.

Itami still has plenty in the tank and, should AEW capitalize on their wrestlers' links to Japan, he could be brought in for several hard-hitting classics. How does a KENTA vs Kota Ibushi match sound?

#8 - Ember Moon

Most people would agree that Ember Moon has been underutilized since being called up to the Raw brand the night after WrestleMania 34. Used sparingly as the babyface tag team partner of whoever the company is actually pushing, Moon's in-ring ability is leaps and bounds above most others on the roster, but she remains a bit-part player.

Now these are still early days in Moon's time on the main roster, and it's hard to climb to the top when Ronda Rousey has a vice-grip on it for the time being. But, you would imagine she'd instantly be a top star in AEW's Women's Division, and likely given more opportunity to demonstrate her charisma both in the ring and on the microphone than she has been afforded on Monday nights.

#7 - Mojo Rawley

I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a fan of Mojo Rawley, even though that places me in an overwhelming minority. He's solid if unspectacular in the ring, is highly underrated on the microphone as a heel, and is capable of pulling off a fine midcard act as both a heel and as a babyface.

On Raw, Rawley has gone nowhere, featuring primarily on Main Event outside of a few fleeting pushes. A move to AEW could give him the freedom to explore a fresh gimmick, expand his in-ring psychology and work different styles of matches. Plus, if a few years working for AEW sharpen his skills and make him a more well-rounded wrestlers, he could be welcomed back to WWE with a renewed push reminiscent of Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal.

#6 - Harper

For years, Harper has been categorized as a tag team wrestler or sidekick which, for a man of his size, athleticism and unique look, is too great a restriction. Harper was the assured, stable workhorse of the Wyatt Family, and has been closely linked to his tag team partner Rowan as the Bludgeon Brothers on SmackDown, before both were recently ruled out with injuries.

But, I feel that Harper could flourish in AEW as a solo act, with Rowan not possessing the same level of in-ring diversity. Many have drawn comparisons between Harper and the famed Bruiser Brody, but with greater athleticism. A change of scenery could allow Harper a more prominent position on the card and even a main event run.

#5 - Bobby Roode

After debuting on SmackDown Live as a babyface last year, it's been anything but glorious for Bobby Roode in WWE. One of TNA's brightest sparks of some truly terrible years, Roode is now mired in a forgettable tag team with Chad Gable, a far cry from the upper-midcard or main event position many expected him to be in at this point.

Unlike others on the list, a move to AEW for Roode would be a chance at redemption. I don't know how much stock his puts into his own legacy in wrestling and might be happy with the financial security and exposure Raw is giving him right now. But, if he wants to end his career with a bit more gravitas, a short but significant spell as a main event heel in AEW could be a great help to their fledgling years, and help people remember Roode more fondly.

#4 - Chad Gable

Speaking of Bobby Roode, his partner Chad Gable is another who could thrive as part of AEW. Gable is pound-for-pound one of the most captivating and dextrous wrestlers in WWE today with incredible athleticism, power and fundamentals. He's very likeable and charismatic as well, finding a great blend of having outstanding talent while remaining very relatable.

While size isn't the barrier it used to be in WWE, at this stage it is likely they'll always see Gable as a tag team or midcard guy. In AEW, Gable would be a main event star, tangling with other independent grapplers like Marty Scurll, Zack Sabre Jr. and Jeff Cobb near the top of the card.

#3 - The Good Brothers

Well this is an obvious choice due to the history Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson have with many of their ex-Bullet Club comrades Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks. The Good Brothers are rarely seen on SmackDown nowadays and, outside of a brief Raw Tag Team Championship run in early 2017, the team has been afterthoughts in the company. Even being linked to AJ Styles hasn't done them any good.

In NJPW the team became one of the best tag teams in the world, with multiple championships and great notoriety as part of the Bullet Club. A move to AEW would give them the chance to recapture that status and, with their contracts in WWE reportedly to expire in 2019, it could be the most feasible switch on this list.

#2 - The Revival

Recently, Dash Wilder posted a tweet that captured a lot of attention, stating that one day The Revival will wrestle The Young Bucks. Matt Jackson responded with the same message, leading to the obvious question - where would this match take place? Many would assume this is confirmation that The Young Bucks are on their way to WWE, but that is not necessarily the case.

Because The Revival have been treated as jokes in recent months on Raw, jobbing week-to-week in matches against The Lucha House Party. For a match with The Young Bucks to get the time, status and significance fans would hope for it, it would likely have to take place outside of WWE. AEW could be an ideal destination for The Revival to truly blossom as one of the world's greatest tag teams.

#1 - Sasha Banks

Arguably the biggest name (and longshot) on this list, this would depend entirely on if Sasha Banks is dissatisfied with the spot she currently finds herself in on Raw. Despite being one of the best wrestlers and talkers in the women's division, Banks has never been positioned as a consistent main event star, not receiving a long reign with a championship and now tied to a tag team with Bayley with no upward momentum in sight.

It is no secret that Banks considers herself one of the best wrestlers in the world, and could be motivated to take her talents to the independent circuit to work with exciting names like Tessa Blanchard, Jordynne Grace and Kay Lee Ray. A signing of Banks' stature and following would immediately draw eyes to AEW and show that they mean business in their attempt to compete with WWE.

Who would you like to see leave WWE if AEW gets off the ground?
Would this be too big a gamble for most WWE superstars to take?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Callum Wiggins hails from Essex in the United Kingdom. He recently graduated from the University of York with a degree in History and has been a fan of professional wrestling since 2002. Outside of wrestling, he is also a fan of Arsenal FC and enjoys video games, darts, and Formula One. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter.


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