WWE is heavily locking down its hoard of Superstars to prevent the upcoming “All Elite Wrestling” promotion from rattling its ‘exclusive’ talent pool. AEW is the rumored next big professional wrestling promotion led by Tony Khan and is expected to go live by late 2019 or early 2020.
Despite WWE’s efforts, it is reported that several Superstars are interested in AEW if the promotion launches as per the scheduled timeframe.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer revealed, “Everyone in the business today, it was something that people were talking about. I can tell you that in WWE, I know of people that are very very interested in this. I know of several names.”
“There’s a lot of guys in WWE that are scared to leave.” He continued, “If somebody’s got a WCW-like thing out there, there’s a lot of guys there that would leave, probably.”
Meltzer noted that mere interest on part of the Superstar doesn’t necessarily mean that they will make any move because right now AEW is just a developing story, rather an idea, and things will take shape only when Khan & Co. are able to ink a mammoth television deal.
However, a big player in the TV network industry embracing AEW by 2020 should be a red alert for Vince McMahon as WWE’s deal with Fox commences in October 2019 and the broadcasting giant has specifically asked for SmackDown Live to consist of more sports and less comedy.
If AEW manages to get off the ground with a TV deal next year and WWE fails to impress Fox, then McMahon could soon be losing the business to Khan starting with SmackDown.
It’s expected that AEW would be able to convince a broadcasting network at the earliest as Tony is the son of the owner of Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham F.C., Shahid Khan, the U.S. billionaire who recently offered £600 million (almost $800 million) for the historic Wembley Stadium.