AEW News: The AEW Stars Who Almost Said Yes To WWE

The AEW founders attend a press event.
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With Saturday night’s Fight for the Fallen pay-per-view just around the corner, Matt and Nick Jackson of the Young Bucks sat down with Chris Van Vliet for an in-depth interview about a variety of topics.

One of the most notable topics, however, was how the All Elite Wrestling executive vice presidents almost joined WWE along with Kenny Omega. According to Matt, the trio talked to WWE “endlessly” prior to co-founding AEW with Cody Rhodes, Brandi Rhodes, and Tony Khan.

“At one point, I remember me, Nick, and Kenny were in a room because all of our deals were up at the same time. We got off the phone one day and we looked at each other, and we said, ‘I think we’re all going to WWE.’ It was that close.”

However, just as they were about to make the move to Vince McMahon’s company, Khan swooped in with an offer that was just too good to refuse.

While the financial package they received from Khan was more than reasonable, it was the freedom to run their own promotion that led to Matt, Nick, and Kenny agreeing to terms with the AEW CEO. After that, the company was born and the rest is history.

Additionally, Nick claims another reason why they chose not to go to WWE was because of the demanding full-time schedule, which would have kept them away from home too often.

“We have young families. Even with the limited schedule, it was like, ‘God, I can’t imagine being home [just] for 2 days for my kids.'”

With AEW now up and running, the company is making a conscious decision to afford its wrestlers and staff a healthier work-life balance. Per Bleacher Report, Khan promises that the company won’t host hundreds of house shows each year. In turn, this will allow roster members to spend more time at home, as well as to recuperate after matches.

AEW has hit the ground running as a company, having seen two successful shows already air on pay-per-view. With several more in the works, along with a weekly TV show coming to TNT this October, the decision for the company’s founders to reject WWE is paying off.

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However, WWE isn’t too happy about their new competition. As noted by Sportskeeda, fans attending WWE events have reportedly been asked to remove their AEW merchandise. At this year’s Hall of Fame ceremony, Triple H referred to the new promotion as a “p*ssant company.”

AEW might not be winning over rival promotions, but the increased competition is at least exciting for wrestling fans.