Cody Rhodes has spoken out about the percentage of AEW's roster that is made up of ex-WWE talent. Says there is more interest in new, unproven wrestlers.
When the existence of AEW was first confirmed, rumors were rife concerning WWE Superstars that could possibly be jumping ship. Although WrestleMania season deafened that talk a little, it is now back in full swing. Harper has confirmed he will be leaving WWE, and it seems as if Alexander Wolfe and even Sasha Banks could soon follow.
The assumption for all of these departures is that WWE Superstars believe they now have somewhere else to go. That is likely true, but have they considered that AEW doesn't simply want to become WWE lite? If AEW does sign all of WWE's recent departures then that might well be how it is viewed right off the bat. Cody Rhodes recently made clear that simply signing ex-WWE Superstars is not AEW's intention.
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Rhodes explained on this week's Jim Ross Report that ex-WWE Superstars make up about 5% of the AEW roster. "That may increase but right now it’s a lot of faces you’ve never seen and a lot of faces you’ll be surprised when you do see," he added. The former ROH Champion also explained that the company is looking to sign what he refers to as "Tier 1" talent.
"The recruitment was more about — I use the term ‘Tier 1,’...it was more about freshmen if that makes any sense. I wanna build a new class of guys," Rhodes went on to say. That makes a lot of sense if you ask us. You need look no further than the beginnings of Impact Wrestling to see evidence of signing WWE's cast-offs to fill your roster not being successful.
Since AEW hasn't even staged its first event yet, it is naturally going to be compared to other ventures. On the surface, it seems as if those in charge of AEW are smarter than the people they are being compared to. Every single disgruntled WWE Superstar should consider whether they would be appealing to AEW too before leaving. That being said, AEW isn't the only choice for wrestlers in need of a change right now.