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I’m Oli Davis.
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Where thanks to yesterday’s All Elite Wrestling
rally, we’ve got a show more packed than,
Former WWE wrestler PAC.
Because he was there.
At the rally.
With a full rundown of the promotion’s announced
second wave of signings, details on two AEW
events this year, and how All Elite Wrestling
might not just change the wrestling business
for the better… but the whole universe!
All Elite Wrestling Rally Recap
As a quick recap of the story so far: Dave
Meltzer tweeted in May 2017 that Ring of Honor
couldn’t sell out a 10,000 seat arena “any
Cody Rhodes took that as a bet, and the following
September we got All In – a wrestling event
run by Cody and the Young Bucks that sold
out its 10,000+ seat capacity in under half
After counting down to a big announcement
on their Being The Elite YouTube series, the
gang revealed logos for Double or Nothing
and AEW – which they confirmed at yesterday’s
rally to no-one’s surprise, because it’s
been reported everywhere since SEScoops broke
the story back in October, is the name of
their new wrestling promotion All Elite Wrestling,
and Double or Nothing will be their next big
show in May.
Hosted by Something to Wrestle With’s Conrad
Thompson and SiriusXM’s Alex Marvez, the
first big announcement at the rally was AEW’s
first major signing… pyro!
In your face, WWE.
We all still like pretty explosions.
Oh, and former-Ring of Honor faction SoCal
Uncensored – comprised of Scorpio Sky and
long-time ROH and TNA veterans Christopher
Daniels and Frankie Kazarian.
SCU’s signing had been long expected, especially
with them announcing their departure from
ROH last month.
AEW’s executive Vice President Cody Rhodes
was up next to officially announce AEW as
a wrestling promotion:
“I think it was about four months ago at
All In and I was standing in the ring surrounded
by the best fans in the entire world.
I felt like I was trapped in this literal
wall of sound, it was your belief and your
It started a fire and guys we have to keep
that fire going right?
That brings us here today putting words down
on a brand new sheet of paper, a brand new
chapter, a brand new book that we like to
call All Elite Wrestling.”
And going by Cody’s words, AEW have big
plans to shake up the entire wrestling industry
– starting with how the performers themselves
“There’s something that my mentor taught
me long ago, it’s a disappointing thing
about wrestling, but as a second generation
and someone who’s studied it, someone who’s
learned from it, someone who’s lived it
– compared to sports stars and professional
entertainers of comparable influence, pro
wrestlers are always the least paid.
At All Elite Wrestling, we’re going to change
We’re going to change the wrestling economy
because you can offer someone opportunity,
but opportunity doesn’t pay the bills.
And happy wrestlers means happy fans, and
fans come first.”
While some in WWE make six and seven figure
salaries, many reportedly don’t make as
much as you’d think for such a punishing
job, with even top stars still having to pay
for their own travel and accommodation.
Cody could be talking here about raising the
price of wrestlers because they’ll now be
more in demand with the already started talent
bidding war between promotions, or he could
be hinting at something far more significant
– that AEW would make their performers employees,
or allow them to unionise, rather than the
very controversial ‘independent contractor’
model in WWE.
Interestingly, talking to journalists afterwards,
Cody, the Bucks and AEW President Tony Khan
appeared to double down on this, saying they
“want to take care of the boys” and “we
can confirm anyone that gets hurt in an AEW
ring will be 100 percent taken care of by
With his acting experience in TV, it’s speculated
Cody might be talking about a wrestling union
that could provide health insurance for their
Another key difference with WWE was Khan promising
less travel and lighter schedules to avoid
wrestlers getting burnt out – a potentially
huge selling point for currently disgruntled
Raw and SmackDown stars.
It was a rally full of not-so-subtle jabs
at WWE’s product and the way it does business.
Nobody ever named the world’s biggest wrestling
company, choosing to focus on AEW’s own
good intentions instead.
Like Cody’s other promise about how matches
will actually have stakes, as opposed to another
wrestling promotion that seems to make things
up just a few hours before they go on air…
“Another thing about All Elite Wrestling
is wins and losses.
Wins and losses will matter like they’ve
never mattered before.”
As expected, Cody and the Bucks then announced
that Double or Nothing will be the name of
All In 2, and will take place on May 25th
at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas
[POSTER IMAGE] – a location fitting with the
event’s gambling-themed name.
Brandi Rhodes was up next, revealing her position
as AEW’s Chief Brand Officer, which was
a title likely only decided so she could make
“But what also sounds really good to me
is the nickname you guys gave me over on Twitter
@Chief Brandi Officer.”
Oh, Brandi I thought I couldn’t love you
But then you made such a good pun.
Interestingly, Chief Branding Officer is the
position held in WWE by Stephanie McMahon
– a role that appears to mean being in charge
of women… as Brandi continued.
“Now, the number one question I have been
asked since the company was announced is…
will there be a women’s division?
Well, as a blossoming women’s wrestler myself,
it would be strange for me to sign a contract
for a company that wasn’t going to have
a women’s division – so absolutely, there
will be a women’s division!
But not only that, we want it to be a strong
women’s division with the best female wrestlers
in the entire world.”
Brandi went onto say how she’s travelled
the world over the past year seeing talent
from Britain and Japan, but, as Dave Meltzer
has pointed out, so has WWE, who have signed
the vast majority of the women’s scene coming
out of their two Mae Young Classic tournaments.
Brandi might just have AEW’s answer for
that, though – financial equality, rather
than just incessant PR speak:
“To echo something Cody said earlier, we
care about our women.
They are top talent.
So they will be paid equally.
There’s no sliding scale.
Brandi then brought out the already reported
signing of All In wrestler Britt Baker to
kick off AEW’s women’s division.
And then the real surprise debuts began…
The next All In wrestler to sign with AEW
was MJF – who was defeated by Matt Cross in
the opening match at September’s show.
He first came out to call Conrad fat in about
28 different ways, for another All In star
to interrupt him: the hardcore bad boy himself
“This is the beautiful Penelope Ford.
And my name is Joey Janela, and I’m a bad,
And in 2019, me and her, we’re All Elite!”
Janela is currently out injured until July,
though, possibly ruling him out of Double
But AEW had another big name to fill his place.
During Hangman Page’s following promo about
how he’ll be the first ever All Elite Wrestling
champion, former WWE Cruiserweight Champion
and current DragonGate Open the Dream Gate
Champion – such a stupid name – don’t call
him Neville, now call him PAC interrupted:
Well I’ve got a little bit of bad news for
I am here in AEW, I am already a champion,
and for the likes of you Hangman Page?
Well you couldn’t even lace my boots.”
Hangman Page then accepted PAC’s challenge.
Spare a thought for The Elite’s Marty Scurll,
though, who can’t join his AEW friends because
he’s currently under contract with Ring
of Honor, so The Villain commented on Page’s
PAC confrontation Instagram post: “You got
a new British friend already huh?”
Cody and the Bucks came out again to announce
another AEW’s event for 2019, which will
take place in Jacksonville, with a large portion
of ticket sales going to benefit victims of
While the exact date is still to be determined,
it’s speculated the event will be called
Fight for the Fallen, as that was one of the
names trademarked by AEW last year.
And just as Conrad was closing the show, then
came the biggest shock of the rally.
Well, if you count Chris Jericho turning up
anywhere as ‘a shock’ anymore.
It’s currently more shocking if he doesn’t
show up unannounced for big wrestling events.
“I’m Chris Jericho, and I’m All In with
All Elite Wrestling!
I think we just took things to a different
level, didn’t we?
I am here with AEW.
I’m not here for the money, I’ve already
got the money.
I’m here because I believe in doing something
I believe in doing something new.
It’s what I’ve always done my entire career.
I am a maverick, I am an outlaw, I am a pariah,
I’m Chris Jericho, baby!”
Jericho confirmed he’ll be at AEW’s next
show Double or Nothing in May.
WWE took it about as well as you would expect,
immediately moving Jericho to their inactive
Alumni page on WWE.com.
So to run down the officially announced AEW
roster so far, that’s Cody and Brandi Rhodes,
the Young Bucks, Hangman Page, Chris Jericho,
PAC, Joey Janela, Penelope Ford, MJF, Britt
Baker, Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian
and Scorpio Sky.
Not bad for a promotion likely still nine
months away from starting weekly TV, and one
that could be soon adding Kenny Omega when
his New Japan contract expires at the end
of this month [OMEGA], and who knows how many
currently unhappy WWE wrestlers who decide
to make the jump.
Are WWE finally pushing Andrade ‘Cien’
Find out in Luke’s review of a cracking
episode of SmackDown!
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I’ve been Oli Davis, and that was wrestling.