As quoted by Ringside News, AEW president Tony Khan sat down with Bleacher Report ahead of Wednesday’s Fight for the Fallen show on TNT. During the interview, Khan revealed that the company plans on adding more names to the roster in the near future.
According to Khan, AEW is always expanding, and fans shouldn’t expect the company to ever stop bringing in new names. However, the AEW president is also more focused on continuing to build the current roster.
“We brought some of the great stars of wrestling in, we’ve introduced some of the great new stars in wrestling in addition to guys that were household names in wrestling and guys whose names have really grown. We’ve had a big impact made by MJF, Darby Allin, Jungle Boy, Orange Cassidy and The Best Friends, and a lot of other people that have come in and done really well for us. What I’d like to do is take the best of what we have…then don’t be surprised to see more new people and new faces.”
The timing of Khan’s statement about bringing in newcomers is noteworthy. The 90-day noncompete clause of the WWE superstars who were released in April is set to expire in the coming days. Those free agents will then be free to join AEW and any other wrestling promotion.
As the Ringside News report highlighted, AEW executive vice president Cody Rhodes has already teased bringing Matt Cardona — formerly Zack Ryder in WWE — into the fold. The pair go way back as friends, but Rhodes also thinks that Cardona has the potential to become a huge star.
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I’d like to take a moment to say how proud I am to be a friend of @zryder85 – In a world of weekend warriors and “play wrestlers”, this dude exudes passion and drive for pro-wrestling like no other. Through 14 years to see him CONSISTENTLY try to better himself(whether that be his in-ring work, or watching him physically mold himself and his body into such a specimen DRUG FREE with hard work and will). I have a little rule, and that’s that if you’ve ever “gotten over” in wrestling…you can always do so again. That rule being fully applicable to Matt now. At 34 years young, his best wrestling days are ahead of him. Cheers to a great start and 14 years of unrelenting blood, sweat, and tears. Future endeavors are limitless when you actually endeavor. I chose this picture because it was one of my last days at WWE, watching 80,000+ people applaud as Matt won gold was an eruption not only live in the arena but in the locker room as well. Hearing Dolph coordinate for his father to come over the rails(meanwhile I was ass deep into a broken ladder and stuck but had the best seat in the house) and seeing father/son embrace, I thought I’d be jealous or bitter, but I was truly happy and proud for one of my peers. Congratulations my friend, and good luck!
The Inquisitr recently reported that Ryder has recruited AEW’s go-to attorney to help him with his trademarks. While this doesn’t confirm that Cardona is set to join AEW, it’s worth noting that other wrestlers — such as Lance Archer, who recently joined the promotion — also used the same lawyer.
Khan didn’t reveal which former WWE names he’s interested in hiring, but he said that some of them will be wrestlers who fans are “familiar” with. This suggests that some free agents who recently parted ways with WWE could be on their way to the upstart promotion. WWE is the most popular wrestling promotion in the world, after all.
The AEW president also named Ricky Starks — who was wrestling on the independent circuit until recently — as an example of someone unknown who earned a contract by impressing the company after being given an opportunity. Khan just wants to sign talented performers, regardless of their stature, and help them become stars in AEW.