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Top 10 most underused talents in All Elite Wrestling

AEWThe approach of All Elite Wrestling founder Tony Khan, until very recently, had been to add talent, more talent, even more talent, then try to figure out where all the talents could be fit in.

Of late, there has been a move to do some trimming around the edges, but there’s still going to be a lot of wrestlers hanging out in catering during “Dynamite” and “Rampage,” otherwise reduced to a few minutes of time in squash matches on “Dark” and “Dark: Elevation.”

The list of underused talents is much deeper than 10, but 10 is a nice round number for purposes of our discussion today.

  1. Private Party

Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen scored an upset win over the Young Bucks a couple of years back. Nothing was done to build from that, and Private Party has been buried as part of the Hardy Family Office for far too long. They get plenty of TV time, but it’s not good TV time. HFO is a jobber stable. A break away would do these guys good.

  1. Brian Cage

I hesitate to put him on this list, because there’s a ton of speculation on the interwebs that AEW is about to cut ties with Cage, which is a shame. He never did get a real chance at a decent run in AEW. There was an early world title shot, but no build from there, and then he was buried as part of Team Taz. I can’t figure out why Vince McMahon isn’t drooling over this guy with his look and workrate.

  1. Jake Hager

Hager has a career AEW record of just 17-11, and honestly, I’m struggling to remember when his last TV match was. He’s more focused on MMA than pro wrestling, but his contribution to AEW has mainly been on the periphery of wide shots of the Inner Circle in in-ring interviews and backstage segments.

  1. Andrade El Idolo

He’s basically being used as comic relief right now, and he’s good in the role, most recently expressing interest in buying the little boy that works for Sting (Darby Allin). It’s hard to figure what Khan is trying to build to with how he’s been using Andrade to this stage.

  1. Jay Lethal

The former ROH and Impact champ debuted with a job to Sammy Guevara on “Dynamite,” then was sent to the YouTube witness protection program for several weeks. Now he’s being used as the new Lio Rush for Dante Martin, though last week there was a hint to some heat with Ricky Starks and Team Taz, which if that comes to fruition with actual TV matches, would get Lethal off this list.

  1. Ethan Page/Scorpio Sky/Frankie Kazarian

The move to break up SoCal Uncensored was plain dumb. SCU was the inaugural AEW tag champ, if you can remember back that far. Maybe the idea was that Scorpio Sky was due a singles push. Which he got, briefly, very briefly, then was put on the YouTube shelf, before the repackaging with Page as Men of the Year, which itself has been a dud of a pairing. Kazarian, meanwhile, was for a time the Elite Hunter, but now he’s a Dark and Dark: Elevation semi-regular, with the occasional random TV run-in to make the save for whoever needs somebody to make the save.

  1. Powerhouse Hobbs

The AEW website lists his career record at 37-17. The two most recent TV matches with him that I remember are a pinfall loss, for some reason, to Dante Martin, this month, and then a loss to CM Punk back in the fall. Otherwise, he’s in the background of whatever Team Taz is doing, which isn’t all that much, oddly enough for a group that has two guys (Taz and Ricky Starks) regularly working commentary on YouTube.

  1. Santana & Ortiz

This one may be in the process of being rectified soon, with the angle with Chris Jericho that may go over tonight with the trios match with Daniel Garcio and 2Point0 on “Dynamite.” You’d think being paired with the inaugural AEW world champ in a faction would be what you’d want, but the talking point in the brewing feud with Jericho, that the “Demo God” has held them back, has a lot of ring of truth to it.

  1. FTR

Brief feud with the Young Bucks, win the AEW tag titles, lose them, get buried. That’s a brief history of FTR’s time in All Elite. When we could have spent the last year having FTR and Santana & Ortiz adding to the great history of lengthy tag team feuds with Rock’n’Roll-Midnights, Rock’n’Roll-Tully & Arn, Midnights-Road Warriors, etc. Plea to Mr. Khan: sign the Briscoes, now, and just have these guys fight forever.

  1. Thunder Rosa

She gets a fair amount of TV time, but why have we not had a part deux to the all-time classic Thunder Rosa-Britt Baker match from last spring? I keep thinking that Khan is going to go to Thunder Rosa as Baker’s next world title challenger, but then, he doesn’t. If he’s thinking it’s better to have that one in his pocket, he’d be wise to keep in mind that, injuries happen, other things happen, and the best laid plans in wrestling often don’t happen. The time is now to pull the trigger. Build a feud between these two, work up to a blow-off with another anything goes match, and I can easily see Thunder Rosa-Britt Baker main-eventing a pay-per-view. The one match that we’ve had from these two was that good.

Story by Chris Graham

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