On Tuesday, January 8, All Elite Wrestling had been officially in business for a little over a week and it was time to make some announcements. At a rally that took place in Jacksonville, Florida, there were big plans revealed for their first show Double or Nothing which will take place in Las Vegas. The even bigger reveal, though, was that of their roster which includes big former WWE names such as Billy Gunn, Pac (Neville), and Chris Jericho.
The rally brought in a lot of fans who simply wanted to see what Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks had to say. They wanted to hear what the Khan family actually had planned for All Elite Wrestling and how they were going to compete in the world of professional wrestling.
Right now, it is evident that WWE is the No. 1 wrestling promotion in the world with New Japan Pro Wrestling, Impact Wrestling, Ring of Honor, and others fighting for that No. 2 spot. AEW is hoping that they can bring something new and fresh to the ring and eventually move up the ladder.
Anyone who watched the rally now knows that they aren’t joking around and that they’re dead serious about making a big splash. One thing is certain, they caught the eyes of many wrestling fans by announcing that one of their initial signings is none other than Chris Jericho.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) January 9, 2019
Jericho had been appearing for New Japan Pro Wrestling for a while now, but everyone kind of expected him to eventually return to WWE. This afternoon after the rally, Jericho signed his contract with AEW which essentially rules out him having any more runs for Vince McMahon.
Still, one wrestler doesn’t make an entire promotion and there were a number of other names who were announced as being part of AEW. Cody Rhodes, The Young Bucks, and Adam “Hangman” Page were the first stars to sign their contracts, and Britt Baker followed them a couple of days later.
As of January 8, here is the known roster for All Elite Wrestling:
- Cody Rhodes
- Nick Jackson
- Matt Jackson
- Adam “Hangman” Page
- Britt Baker
- Chris Jericho
- PAC – Known as Neville in WWE
- Brandi Rhodes
- Joey Janela
- Penelope Ford
- Christopher Daniels
- Scorpio Sky
- Frankie Kazarian
Matt Jackson also mentioned that All Elite Wrestling had partnered with Oriental Wrestling Entertainment (OWE) and some stars from it would appear for them. There is also the possibility that Kenny Omega could sign with them at the end of the month as he’s officially announced he’s leaving NJPW.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) January 8, 2019
As reported by ComicBook.com, AEW also brought in another former champion from WWE, but this one won’t be in the ring. Former WWE superstar Billy Gunn will work backstage for the company in the role of a producer.
For now and likely a time to come, WWE is going to continue to be the giant in professional wrestling and the promotion that others want to catch. All Elite Wrestling is a brand new company that is literally just 1-week-old, but fans have to admit that they have certainly started off well. The signings of Chris Jericho, Pac, and others is going to have a lot of eyes focused on AEW and there is no way of knowing who else may join the roster.