Hi folks! Today, we’re looking at a list of non-WWE wrestlers we would like to see sign on the dotted line with AEW (All Elite Wrestling). The first 20 entries are from Facebook replies to a post asking who they would like to see. The last 10 are my own personal choices; although several of the FB choices I’d have gone with too. To be clear, we’ll never see AEW hire all these men & women together, as they won’t want to book around a bloated roster.
Be sure to check out my previous article if you missed it. A collaboration with Richard Staple, where we highlighted WWE Superstars in need of a reboot: 6 WWE Superstars Who Would Benefit from a Reboot
Each entry includes an explanation of the individual or team’s status, along with how likely I think they will sign with AEW in the near future. When I say near future? I mean within a calendar year. In some cases it was difficult to estimate the probability, so forgive me if I could not provide a clean answer. I’d like to thank our loyal Facebook followers for the contribution! Cheers everyone.
1. Brian Cage
“The Machine” Brian Cage is a freak of nature. Don’t let his look fool you, he can move as good as anyone. When he signed with Impact Wrestling, it seemed a foregone conclusion he would quickly rise to claim the World title. But he didn’t .. instead, he was made to earn it with over a years worth of hard graft. When he did get a shot, he was screwed several times in his feud with Johnny Impact; before finally getting his revenge (and the title) at Rebellion.
But winning came at a price .. as after the title match, the boss of Impact Wrestling had to drive Cage to the hospital. The status of the World Heavyweight Championship remains unclear, after the doctor stated he suffered a serious spinal injury he may never fully recover from. While it would be interesting to see what he could do on a bigger stage, he’s crucial to Impact’s long-term plans. Also, we have no idea how long he will be sidelined .. so it’s very unlikely we’ll see it happen any time soon. I wouldn’t want to see him return to action before he’s healthy. Probability: Unlikely
2. Chris Adonis (Masters)
He’s not done much since leaving WWE 8 years ago. Jeff Jarrett used him prominently in GFW .. but when he moved over to Impact? He was quickly relegated. The last we saw, Chris Adonis was running around after Eli Drake as his lackey. He left the company due to creative having nothing for him other than a managerial role.
He has connections, so I’d be surprised if he didn’t already send out feelers. There’s a few in AEW who have worked with him, so they know what he’s capable of. Yet, while he has an impressive physique, does he have what it takes to be more? Would AEW be capable of molding him into something fresh? I don’t believe so. Nothing against the guy, but I think if he was gonna’ be a big deal? It would’ve happened a decade ago. Probability: Unlikely
3. CM Punk
CM Punk confirmed? Always. Just kidding, we all know Mr. Brooks’ return to wrestling is confirmed every other month. And while he could surprise us with one of the biggest returns of all time .. I’m sure he’s enjoying a less damaging schedule doing movies and commentating for CFFC. Could he make a surprise appearance down the road? Sure, anything’s possible, but not for a few years. Sorry Punk fans, he seems content in his new life. Probability: Very Unlikely
4. Cody Hall
The son of Scott Hall showed potential in his time with New Japan as a member of the Bullet Club. Teaming with the Young Bucks, it seems likely they’ll bring him in when the time is right. His father might join too, as his manager. At least til Cody is big enough to make it on his own. His lack of experience needs to be corrected. Probability: Very Likely
5. Darius Lockhart
I’m not going to lie, I did not know who Darius Lockhart is til I made this. The one thing he gets across? Is his ability to inspire. Credited to his website, these words help us to understand the kind of person he is:
Born September 24th, 1995, Darius Lockhart is a native Charlottean with a passion for performance. At age 12, Lockhart fell in love with the art of Professional Wrestling, and decided he would dedicate his life to the craft.
At 17 years old, Darius began his Professional wrestling training at the Highspots Pro-Wrestling School under the tutelage of “Mr Number One” George South, WWE Superstar Cedric Alexander, and Impact Wrestling star Caleb Konley. Lockhart would go on to have his first professional match August 15th, 2013 and continue his wrestling career all while attending the University of North Carolina Greensboro.
He graduated May 12th, 2017 with a Degree in Communication Studies and a minor in African Diaspora Studies. Since then, Lockhart has become world traveled, wrestling not only across the country and coastal regions, but also overseas in the United Kingdom. There he spent four months living and training with World of Sport and British Wrestling Legend, Marty Jones.
Lockhart has continued to thrive within the world of sports entertainment, aiming to use his platform in order to evoke change on a social and political level, spreading a positive message of hope and resiliency against hate. He claims “I couldn’t attend every protest, so I took the protests with me.” His motto: “Be A Revolutionary.”
Throughout his journey, Lockhart has also formed previous alliances with tag partners Caleb Konley and Zane Riley, to form the faction known as “The Revolt!,” as well as a brief tag team run with Caprice Coleman, coming together to be known as, “The Vanguard.” In addition to his public persona, Lockhart aims to be a communal servant, volunteering when possible, all in effort to see the growth of his city, the world, and most importantly – the people.
Lockhart states, “Be who you needed when you were younger. Be the change you want to see in the world, be a mother, a father, be whatever your heart desires – but whatever you are – make sure that you’re a revolutionary. It’s in all of us. Probability: Unknown
6. Eli Drake
Dummy! Yeah! The “Namer Of Dummies” recently surprised Impact Wrestling fans with his departure. In fact, it wasn’t too surprising considering how poorly he was booked after Austin Aries waltzed in and snatched the World title from him. What lead to his leaving? At the time, it was implied he had asked for his release .. but it wasn’t true. After being asked to face Tessa Blanchard at the United We Stand PPV, Drake refused to do it .. criticizing intergender wrestling and the way creative booked him. Due to a breach of contract, he was fired via email on April 7th.