“Happy wrestlers mean happy fans, and fans come first.”
These were some of the first words out of the mouth of Cody Rhodes at the Double or Nothing rally held today in Jacksonville, Florida. It was wrestling fan’s first chance to find out more information on All Elite Wrestling, the promotion founded by members of the Elite. On hand for the event were Cody and his wife Brandi Rhodes, Matt & Nick Jackson of the Young Bucks, and Hangman Page. Of note, neither Kenny Omega nor Marty Scurll made appearances at the event.
Double or Nothing
First, the big stuff: on May 25th at the MGM Grand, AEW will present Double or Nothing, the first event in the history of the promotion. While the first event’s announcement was expected, the promotion’s second event was also confirmed to take place in Jacksonville. However, no date was confirmed. Unfortunately, no television deal was announced at Double or Nothing.
It was confirmed early in AEW’s official stream that Tony Khan, one of the co-owners of the Jacksonville Jaguars, would be the President of All Elite Wrestling. In addition, it’s been confirmed that Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson and Cody Rhodes will serve as Executive Vice Presidents. Brandi Rhodes will serve as the Chief Brand Officer of AEW. Lastly, it was confirmed that Billy Gunn would serve as AEW’s lead producer.
Finally, it was announced that a working agreement has been made with OWE (Oriental Wrestling Entertainment) in China, which is hyped as “a company in China with wrestling that fans in America have never really seen before.”
Most of the big news from Tuesday’s event comes out of the wealth of signings made by AEW. A number of the biggest independent names in the world are now confirmed for All Elite Wrestling and position the company well for its inaugural show in May. In addition to Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson), nine wrestlers will be part of AEW Double or Nothing, the first show in the promotion’s history.
Let’s take a look at some of the confirmed talent for May 25th.
Jericho says he’s not here for the money. “I believe in doing something different.”
Y2J confirms he’ll be at Double or Nothing. pic.twitter.com/YiZ3lSQAef
— Pro Wrestling Sheet (@WrestlingSheet) January 8, 2021
Jericho: While not confirmed to have signed with AEW full-time, Jericho easily marks the fledgeling promotion’s biggest coup. There’s not much to say about Y2J that hadn’t already been said; most recently, Jericho held the IWGP Intercontinental Championship as part of his extended stint with NJPW. However, it’s far from the only gold he’s held in his career. Jericho is the first-ever undisputed champion in WWE history, a 9-time Intercontinental Champion, and widely regarded as one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time. After a shocking appearance at ALL IN and organizing his own cruise, it appears as though Y2J is ready to make history once again by confirming his involvement at Double or Nothing.
SoCal Uncensored: Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet first broke news yesterday that SCU would be joining All Elite Wrestling; now, it can be confirmed that Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky have signed with AEW. The trio is best known for their work in Ring of Honour, where they were most recently Six-Man Tag Team Champions. In addition, the duo of Kazarian and Sky were ROH Tag Team Champions heading into this year’s Final Battle prior to dropping the straps to the Briscoes. Daniels, perhaps, represents the biggest name of the three, with a number of accolades to his name including a stint as the ROH World Champion. The three also appeared on the ALL IN card, with Daniels facing Stephen Amell and SCU facing the aforementioned Briscoes. Outside of Britt Baker, the trio are the first wrestlers to sign with AEW that are not members of the Elite.
Britt Baker, D.M.D: Britt Baker was the first name officially confirmed to have signed with AEW outside of the members of the Elite. One of the fastest rising stars in women’s wrestling, Baker is a four-year veteran of the squared circle, competing for promotions such as WrestleCircus, MFPW and ESW prior to her signing with AEW. She also appeared on the inaugural ALL IN card as part of the women’s fatal four way with Tessa Blanchard, Chelsea Green and Madison Rayne. This year, Baker was ranked #71 on the PWI100, featuring the top 100 females in wrestling. Perhaps most awesome of all, Baker is a registered dentist after graduating Penn State University in 2018 with a Doctorate of Medical Dentistry.
Joey Janela & Penelope Ford: Two marquee signings were announced midway through the Double or Nothing rally as Joey Janela and Penelope Ford were confirmed to be signing with the promotion. Despite suffering a leg injury earlier this year, Janela is one of the hottest stars of the independent scene. Known for his high-risk style and innovative offence, Janela’s complete and utter lack of regard for his body has endeared him to fans worldwide, and his yearly show Joey Janela’s Spring Break is a must for any hardcore wrestling fan.
PAC: After weeks of rumours, PAC’s appearance at the Double or Nothing Rally confirmed his involvement in the new promotion. The man formerly known as Neville is currently the champion of Dragon Gate wrestling just months after re-appearing on the independent scene. Despite spending nearly a year out of action due to a contract dispute with WWE, PAC was widely regarded as one of the strongest independent wrestlers in the world and represents a huge coup for AEW.
MJF: Maxwell Jacob Friedman was another name confirmed to have signed with All Elite Wrestling. The 22-year-old is the youngest confirmed signee to the promotion after most recently wrestling for Major League Wrestling. The four-year veteran is perhaps best known for facing Matt Cross in the opening match of this year’s ALL IN event, as well as his time with Combat Zone Wrestling.
That’s it, that’s all wrestling fans! Excited about the new promotion and its first signings? Let us know - tweet us @WCSportsCA and give us your thoughts!
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