Weekend Observations: Rating possible AEW interest in recent WWE releases
WWE, as is usual post-Wrestlemania, is in a future endeavor frenzy, announcing this week the release of several main-roster stars, most prominently former NXT and TNA champ Samoa Joe.
It’s an odd thing with WWE, that it treats its talents, for tax purposes, as independent contractors, while also insisting that they sign contracts with 90-day non-compete clauses, which means none of those released yesterday can work for another wrestling company until mid-July.
Which, fine. If you’re Tony Khan at AEW, that gives you time to think things through, make sure the guys and gals you’re interested in are good fits, get to know them a bit.
Who might he want to add to his roster?
Top Shelf: Samoa Joe
Come on, seriously? It’s hard to figure that WWE used Joe so prominently on the announce team for Wrestlemania with the intent to cut him a few days later.
Joe has been on the shelf in terms of in-ring for more than a year recovering from a head injury suffered during a commercial shoot, and it’s not widely known if he’d be cleared for a return to competition.
If he is, you sign him immediately and get him in the direction of being a top guy in the AEW title picture.
Even if he isn’t, you have to think about it. Joe was a breakthrough as a color commentator, and the buzz from having him join AEW would be palpable.
Next Tier: Wesley Blake, Kalisto, Mojo Rawley
I like Blake and Rawley as guys who can one day be top midcard guys. Good hands, both.
Kalisto strikes me as a guy who would fit in nicely with AEW’s abundance of high-flying cruiserweights. Another good guy to work with Ray Fenix, Penta, Pac, the Young Bucks, SCU, et cetera.
Depth for the Women’s Roster: Chelsea Green, Billie Kay, Peyton Royce, Mickie James
I can imagine Green either allying with or feuding with Britt Baker and that program being gold.
And a redo of The IIconics in AEW? Sign me up.
James could be used to get some of the younger talents over – and would add value behind the scenes as a producer.
Meh: Tucker, Bo Dallas
Dallas has reportedly already seen the writing on the wall and begun preparing himself for his post-wrestling life.
Tucker is at best a guy who can win some matches on “Dark.”
Story by Chris Graham