The AEW promotion figures to emerge as a legitimate wrestling business rival to the WWE, thanks in large part to the many great talents they were able to pry away from Vince McMahon.
It started with the addition of future WWE Hall of Famer Chris Jericho. And at the Double Or Nothing event last Saturday, Jon Moxley (known as Dean Ambrose in WWE), debuted for AEW, and the company later announced that he had signed a multi-year contract with them.
Moxley has also wasted little time ripping Vince and the current WWE product, and he also complained about the minimal $500 pay he received for his final match in the WWE. In short, Moxley and AEW seem ready to seriously challenge WWE for global wrestling supremacy in the future.
That may be especially true when you consider what Dave Meltzer had to say on Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Ringside News). Meltzer explained that the WWE locker room is divided right now, with some superstars content and wanting to keep making money while other talents are hoping to leave:
"I think what we’ve seen a lot lately is the exposing of the idea that everyone’s happy there [in WWE] which they’re not. That it’s a great happy family and it’s not...
You see these guys and some guys they just throw the big money at and they’re gonna stay because they’re still motivated by the big money or the uncertainty of the outside world of the mentality that if you’re not in that world and you go to the other world it doesn’t count.”
Then you’ve got a lot of people who grew up with the idea that WWE wasn’t the be all and end all and if they’re not happy — and there are a lot of guys that want to stay there, but you know there’s a lot of guys that wanna leave as well."
It's no secret that there are many disgruntled superstars in the WWE right now. The Revival and Mike and Maria Kanellis reportedly requested to be released in January, which WWE refused to grant. However, The Revival rejected new contract extensions, while Mike and Maria's contracts expire in three weeks.
On top of that, Luke Harper recently revealed that he asked to be let go, but WWE refused to grant it. Sasha Banks was unhappy about having to lose the Women's Tag Team Championships with Bayley at WrestleMania 35, and she hasn't been on television since the main show. It remains to be seen if she'll return to the company.
What This Means
WWE doesn't stand to lose top talents like Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Kevin Owens, Brock Lesnar, Becky Lynch, A.J. Styles or Bayley any time soon. But it's not a good look that many superstars are unhappy and looking to get out. Needless to say, Vince and WWE officials need to figure out how to sort through a divided locker room, and what to do with the superstars who have their eyes set on leaving.