All Out 2021 is in the books, and fans are saying it’s the best AEW show ever. Some wrestlers, like Joey Janela, are saying it is the best pay per view of all time. However, no matter how good the matches are, the show was overshadowed by the incredible scenes after the main event. After the final bell, Adam Cole made his debut, aligning with his friends in The Elite. Then, future WWE Hall of Famer Bryan Danielson came out to run off the Elite, but the implication was more than just a simple run in and save.
Turning of the Tide
The recent spate of firings has meant the wrestling world has an influx of extreme talents ready to make their mark. The likes of Braun Strowman, Bray Wyatt and Buddy Murphy have been fired from WWE, and are waiting to make their debut’s in other major companies, like AEW and NJPW. However, AEW have already signed a number of talents released by WWE in the pandemic.
2.0 are the latest pandemic releases to sign for WWE. Matt Lee and Jeff Parker join the likes of Brodie Lee, Tay Conti and Ruby Soho as wrestlers who left WWE and reinvented themselves in AEW. Ruby Soho herself just debuted at All Out, showcasing a new name, song and hunger to prove herself in AEW. While these are all great signings, it’s the additions to the main event scene which is turning heads towards AEW’s directions.
There are eight men who I think compromise the main event of AEW. Men that can headline a pay per view with ease, carry the company as World Champion and be the man to carry the banner of “AEW”. Eight men who are the reason why fans will tune into AEW over WWE. WWE’s main event has become a tired, boring mess, while this fresh, exciting AEW eight can carry the company to be serious competition with WWE.
CM Punk was the first huge signing. His return from seven years away made national headlines. His t-shirt sold out on ProWrestlingTees, and they even had to buy up every single ringer shirt in America to fulfil orders. The anticipation toward his debut was unbearable, and you could here the relief as 15,000 fans cheered when Cult of Personality hit in Chicago. The fact CM Punk chose AEW over WWE in his return shows a lot about how wrestlers are viewing signing for WWE these days.
Adam Cole, former NXT Champion, made his debut at All Out. His contract with WWE unexpectedly expired before his Takeover match with Kyle O’Reilly last month. He had the courtesy to wrestle his final match before signing for AEW. Whilst WWE is his self confessed dream, it was made clear that his Twitch channel was crucial
WWE refused to budge on allowing him to continue streaming under his rules, and it was a reason for him signing for AEW. His addition to the main event scene adds a ton of interesting matches set to take place. Adam Cole versus the likes of Jon Moxley, Adam Page or MJF has incredible potential for absolute bangers. The ceiling is high for Adam Cole in AEW. There is no limit to how far he can go. The AEW title is certainly in his future.
The newly debuted Bryan Danielson made his first appearance for AEW at All Out 2021. The former WWE Champion has been rumoured to be signing for AEW since his WWE contract expired in April this year. He immediately aligned himself against the Elite. Bryan Danielson looks to be one of the top faces in AEW, and a bout against Kenny Omega is a Bryan Danielson dream match waiting to happen.
Danielson has been a top guy wherever he has been. Be it in WWE, Ring of Honor or travelling the world, he has been a main event talent for nearly 20 years. He will slot into the top talents in AEW immediately, and is the biggest addition to AEW since CM Punk. He revealed in the AEW Media Scrum that he was offered a contract with WWE, but took the adventure of AEW instead.
The current AEW Champion is considered by many as the best wrestler in the world. Despite his recent bout with Christian Cage at All Out being overshadowed by debuts by Adam Cole and Bryan Danielson, it was a solid match with great pace and psychology.
Omega has been a focal point of AEW since it’s inception, and is the only man to hold both the AEW World and Tag Team Championship. He is the longest reigning AEW Champion of all time, holding it for more than 277 days.
“Hangman” Adam Page
Adam Page is AEW’s first and biggest “homegrown” star. Whilst he was part of Ring of Honor and in the Bullet Club in NJPW, his stint in AEW has made the Hangman into one of the biggest stars in the company. He found himself as the heart of a storyline that tackled fear, depression, anxiety, addiction and friendship. This has made the fans desperate to see Adam Page lift the AEW Championship
The Death Rider Jon Moxley is one of AEW’s biggest and best stars. He made his debut at the first Double or Nothing, and started a feud with Kenny Omega. Moxley would go on to beat Omega, and eventually Chris Jericho to become the AEW Champion. He has shown himself to be a larger than life presence. He can be slipped into a feud with anybody at the drop of a hat.
Moxley may be the most versatile of all the main eventers in AEW. He has shown he can go from main event title match, to death match, to tag team classics and New Japan style matches with Japanese legends.
One of the greatest of all time, Chris Jericho has been a key figure in AEW’s success. Jericho was the first AEW Champion. He carried the belt until the following year when he was defeated by Jon Moxley at AEW Revolution. He has shown himself to be a key player in all facets of AEW, also performing admirably on commentary during the pandemic.
Chris Jericho has transitioned from main event feud to lower card feud with ease. He feuded with Orange Cassidy for a months, showing a more brutal side to his character. His feuds with MJF and the Pinnacle showed he still has it as a face, and can perform as a main eventer as a face and a heel.