For the first time since WCW and ECW closed their doors way back in 2001, there is some potentially real competition for WWE. All Elite Wrestling started with Double or Nothing on May 25 and their few shows since have been met with critical acclaim. They've also got a weekly show on TNT coming this fall.
With AEW, everyone knows the big names. Cody, Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, Jon Moxley, and PAC are all athletes that casual viewers should recognize. But what about the lesser known competitors? We've picked out ten stars, including some tag teams, you should get to know because they will shine in AEW.
Sammy Guevara has been making waves on the independent scene for the past few years. He really seemed to break out in 2017, competing in the annual Battle of Los Angeles for PWG, while making appearances for EVOLVE. He also has experience working on TV thanks to a short stint on Lucha Underground.
Everywhere he goes, Guevara stands out. That's partially due to his incredible athletic ability. He's one of those guys who can make a fan's jaw drop by flying around the ring. It's a valuable trait because it's the kind of thing that will catch the eye of someone stumbling upon AEW while flipping channels.
Even if you don't know who these guys are, you've probably seen GIFs of them. Angelico is most remembered for an unbelievable series of dives he did while in Lucha Underground. Meanwhile, Jack Evans busted out an insane double moonsault off a cage while in Ring of Honor over a decade ago.
Together, Angelico and Evans form one of the most exciting tag teams in AEW. They work well together, show off some cool tandem offense, and are a blast to watch. While they might not be a duo to dominate, they're definitely one to watch.
When all the early AEW talk was coming in, company officials seemed serious about making their women's division matter. One of the key signings that went under the radar was Kylie Rae. The 26-year-old doesn't have much experience as a wrestler, but there's still plenty of reason for optimism.
Rae is quite the athlete, with a background in stunt work for the Divergent series and Shameless. In her limited time in the ring, she's been in some big situations that include a PROGRESS Women's Title match and appearing on the first AEW show. Most importantly, she has a personality that shines through. "Smiley Kylie" is likable enough to build the division around.
Jungle Boy is a name you most likely don't know, but we all know who his dad is. Jungle Boy is the son of late actor Luke Perry. Meanwhile, Luchasaurus is kind of the opposite. He has no connection to make him famous. He's 6 foot 5 and Jungle Boy is small enough to be carried to the ring on his shoulders.
That makes this an oddball pairing. If you've followed wrestling closely, you'll know that these kinds of teams work often. Jungle Boy is like the X-Pac or Daniel Bryan to Luchasaurus' Kane. Though they haven't been teaming for long, they're already a cult favorite in AEW.
Formerly known as Cherry Bomb, Allie got her new name during a run in TNA where she once held their Knockouts Championship. She's a veteran of the ring, making her debut back in 2005. That gives her an experience edge that almost no other woman in AEW can match.
Besides a long career and solid skills in the ring, Allie is special because she can nail any character put in front of her. As Allie in TNA, she was sympathetic and likable. She then pulled off Dark Allie, which was a much more sinister role. She got both right and was consistently a highlight of the company. She's a crucial asset to AEW.
Through just a handful of shows, it's clear that AEW isn't shying away from blood and violence. That's perfect for Jimmy Havoc. Not only is he "King of the Goths," but he's also a king of Deathmatches. They're his specialty and he's made a living in that environment.
While Havoc can get down with chairs, thumbtacks, barbed wire, and all other sadistic weapons out there, there's a lot more to him. He is the longest-reigning PROGRESS Champion in history. That title has been held by the likes of Pete Dunne and Will Ospreay in the past, but none could match Havoc. He's that good.
Also known as Hangman Page, Adam Page is someone who has made a big impact in early AEW shows. He won the battle royal on the first show, a fatal four-way on the second, and a singles match on the third. Now, he's in line to face the legendary Chris Jericho to determine the first ever AEW Champion.
Page came up in Ring of Honor, before joining the Bullet Club and getting some shine in New Japan Pro Wrestling. He has improved by leaps and bounds over the past few years. At just 27, he's the perfect blend of youth and talent to potentially build your company around.
If you've watched Lucha Underground in the past, these are familiar stars. If not, you're in for a treat. Penta El Zero M and Fenix were among the most important members of that roster and both held the Lucha Underground Championship during their time there. In AEW, they've been more focused on tag team wrestling.
That's a good thing because they're one hell of a tag team. Being brothers means they have a chemistry that can't be matched by many others. AEW seems determined to make tag team wrestling important and the Lucha Brothers are vital to that idea. They're fantastic as a tandem, yet they can also compete in impressive one on one action if need be.
The Miz has been a focal point of WWE television for over a decade. A big reason for that is his gift of gab and how he can get under the skin of any crowd. MJF, formerly known as Maxwell Jacob Friedman, has drawn comparisons to The Miz because he excels in that same department.
MJF has played a notable role in every AEW show so far. That's a good thing. He's a guy who screams superstar with his combination of talent, skill, and charisma. A wrestler like him brings something to the table that not many others in AEW do. Plus, he's only 23 and has a bright future ahead of him.
Speaking of a bright future, it's Darby Allin. He impressed enough during an EVOLVE tryout to get a job. From there, he spent years taking risks, upsetting stars considered much bigger than him, and becoming a huge fan favorite. Since signing with AEW, he's carried that over.
On just the second AEW show, Allin took former WWE Intercontinental Champion Cody to a time limit draw. He also took a vicious bump on the apron that has become a popular GIF online. He's young, hungry, and unique enough to stand out in a crowded field of up and coming wrestlers.