The AEW Roster needs some big changes if they need to compete with WWE. Keep reading to find out the things Tony Khan has done wrong and the roster changes that need to happen for him to help AEW become the top promotion in the world.
Tony Khan Has Signed Too Many Wrestlers
There are currently 180 wrestlers on the AEW roster. That is insane! With only three hours of TV per week, they would need to somehow fit in a wrestler a minute to showcase all their talent in a weeks worth of TV.
Obviously I am being obtuse and not all the talent needs featuring on TV. However, 180 is a ridiculous number of wrestlers to have on the books and should be trimmed down, not just to save on Tony Khan’s wage bill, but also to avoid leaving healthy wrestlers on the side-lines for no reason.
Tony Khan has signed a number of wrestlers in recent months and the surprise signings seem not to be stopping. Saraya (formerly Paige) is the latest former WWE signing to join the company and the surprise debuts are having diminishing returns. Fans have started to bore with the surprised and simply want some good storytelling with the talents currently on the AEW roster who need more TV time.
Some Talent Needs More Time On TV
AEW has transformed the careers of many talents who never got a shot at WWE in the past. Journeyman who wrestled all across the world, in places like ROH, Chikara and other American independent promotions, found their way to AEW since it’s inception and became bigger stars than they ever were before.
Best Friends Trent Baretta and Chuck Taylor were wrestling in New Japan before signing for AEW in 2019, being one of the first wrestlers signed to the roster. They were a key part of the early AEW Tag Team Division and challenged for the tag team titles on numerous occasions.
They were also somewhat heroes of the early pandemic era. During the early days, when AEW was forced to tape weeks and sometimes months of shows on one day, the Best Friends were known to wrestle 2 or more times at each taping, keeping the division ticking over with some excellent performances.
However, injuries and new talent being signed has forced them to miss out on winning the AEW Tag Team Championship. Their other friend Orange Cassidy has still yet to taste gold in the promotion, have unsuccessfully challenged for every single men’s singles championship in AEW.
While these three are some of the most popular men on the roster, they should be pushed harder and be higher up on the list of the AEW roster. Changes need to be made in AEW and once they are we could see Orange Cassidy in a main event level feud with Jon Moxley, Adam Page or even MJF, while Chuck Taylor and Trent Baretta should challenge for – and win – the AEW Tag Team Championships finally, after three long years of trying
AEW Roster Changes
The first of the AEW roster Changes that need actioning by Tony Khan are to release some wantaway and excess talent from the promotion. While he may want to keep them employed until the end of their deal, as he has done with many talent which has set him apart from Vince McMahon, some talent no longer want to wrestle for the company and are actively causing issues backstage and on the booking side.
Andrade El Idolo, signed from WWE in 2021, was recently sent home from AEW Dynamite after an altercation with Sammy Guevara. He has reportedly been looking for a way out of AEW in recent weeks, with even claims of him speaking to Triple H through his with Charlotte Flair. He reportedly punched Guevara backstage following the pairs Twitter spat in a way to allegedly gain his release from AEW.
A return to WWE is what he seems to want, so Tony Khan will not want to hand a potential star to his rival company. However, his tenure if AEW seems untenable and he is a liability for backstage morale, something which has hampered AEW greatly over the past few months.
While releasing him will lead to Andrade moving to WWE, it will remove a potential cancer in the locker room. Improving morale is never a bad thing and it would give AEW the opportunity to push other stars, like Bandido who just signed for AEW after a match with Chris Jericho.
Malakai Black is also one who seems like he wants to leave, although his latest Twitch stream seems to indicate he will return to AEW once he takes a few months off the heal his mind and body. However, with his wife in WWE and the opportunity to work with Triple H, who was a big fan of him in NXT, he may want to move over the that promotion. If that is the case then Tony Khan should take him off TV and push some younger talent, like Darby Allin, into his main event spot instead.
Other talent, like Miro, Orange Cassidy or Claudio Castagnoli could be better utilised by having more TV time to build them up to
What AEW roster changes do you think the company need? Let us know in the comments what you think or click below to read about AJ Styles joining AEW
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.