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AEW announces contract extensions for Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, Adam Elite

Chris Graham
the elite
Photo: AEW

AEW has signed Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson and Adam Page to contract extensions, company owner Tony Khan announced on Wednesday, ahead of the 200th episode of its flagship weekly TV show, “Dynamite,” which is set to air on Wednesday night.

The extensions were widely expected. Omega, a former AEW world heavyweight champ, and the Jacksons, former AEW tag-team champs, have served as executive vice presidents of the company since its launch in 2019.

Which isn’t to say that there wasn’t a sliver of doubt. AEW, notably, did lose one of its original EVPs, Cody Rhodes, who left the promotion last year to return to WWE, where he main-evented WrestleMania 39 in April, losing to world champ Roman Reigns.

“If you were hoping this would be our grand exit, sorry to disappoint you. You’re stuck with us. We’re not going anywhere,” Matt Jackson told Sports Illustrated in an interview published on Wednesday.

The Jacksons, Omega and Page, a Virginia Tech alum and Virginia native who is also a former AEW world champ and world tag-team champ with Omega as his partner, “have been instrumental to AEW’s success,” Khan said in a press release announcing the signings.

“The Elite have been so important to the launch of AEW, with the Young Bucks going all in when I first approached them in 2018 about my dream to create an international pro wrestling promotion,” said Khan, who is CEO, GM and head of creative of AEW.

The AEW press release directed members of the media to the article on the Sports Illustrated website for quotes from the wrestlers.

SI writer Justin Barrasso, in his article, which itself reads like a press release, tries to make the claim that Omega “would have been a prized commodity had he entertained free agency,” but that’s debatable.

At 39, Omega has been limited in the ring the past three years after a career of bump-heavy work, including going on the shelf for nearly a year after the “Revolution” pay-per-view in 2021 to recover from hernia and knee surgeries.

More to the point of the group re-signing is that they are, in effect, as Khan’s close confidants, in charge of how they’re used.

“I’m incredibly proud of my match catalog and the wonderful people I’ve met and continue to meet,” Omega told SI. “AEW not only allows me to continue doing what I do at a high level, but allows the freedom to pursue some other passions I have in life, which, after nearly 25 years in the ring, have become more and more important to me.”

That’s the nice way of saying, I’m staying here because I get to do what I want.

Then there’s Matt Jackson’s way of saying it.

“We’re literally the ‘E’ in AEW,” he said. “The Elite are the main characters of this company. No matter how different AEW is now from its original inception, we are the DNA. And if you lose the foundation of your home, it eventually collapses. It’d be a lie if I said that didn’t weigh on us, when making the decision.”

I can’t imagine why Vince McMahon wouldn’t want to take these guys off Tony Khan’s hands.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham, the king of "fringe media," is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].