All Elite Wrestling apparently isn’t lacking for interest from disaffected WWE stars.
Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer (h/t Robert Gunier of Wrestling Inc) reported that “virtually everybody” on WWE’s active roster has made preliminary contact with AEW. Some talks focused on compensation and how a given wrestler might fit into the promotion.
One notable exception from that group was Roman Reigns, who hasn’t spoken at all with AEW officials.
A number of former WWE stars have landed on their feet with AEW. Matt Cardona, once known as Zack Ryder, was the most recent to make the jump.
AEW world champion Jon Moxley explained to Chris Jericho in May 2019 why he decided to let his WWE contract expire. More than anything, he felt stifled creatively by WWE chairman Vince McMahon, who had a completely different vision for Moxley’s on-screen character.
Brodie Lee alluded to similar issues when he sat down with Jericho in March.
Eric Bischoff, who had a brief stint as SmackDown’s executive director, spoke highly of how AEW operated behind the scenes after he visited for his appearance on the Aug 5. edition of AEW Dynamite (h/t Wrestling Inc’s Marco Rovere):
“When I went backstage at AEW, the first thing I noticed is wow, these guys are actually having fun trying to figure these things out. These guys are actually having fun trying to lay a match out in a way that not only entertains the audience but advances the story. You could tell, I could hear some of the conversations as I was walking by, these guys are working hard to get each other over, they’re not just working hard to get themselves over which you have to do.
“When you get to that point, and you’re coming at it with a frame of mind of how can I make my opponent look better than me and your opponent is looking to do the same thing, that’s when the magic happens. I can’t say enough good things about the talent, the energy backstage, the hospitality, the professionalism, it was really a great experience for me.”
AEW isn’t the only other game in town. Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, Heath Slater, Curt Hawkins, Eric Young and EC3 all signed with Impact Wrestling once their WWE runs ended.
Clearly, AEW officials might have some options if they’re looking to further bolster their roster.