AEW has already recruited top wrestlers such as Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley, but many more could be on the way in the next year. From current WWE Superstars to free agents, there have been plenty of rumors regarding the next major acquisitions for the company. With the weekly television show looming around in October, it's a given that AEW will look to continue building a strong roster.
Despite its flexible budget for the time being, AEW is still far away from winning a bidding war with WWE. Not to mention there are many names who are either too loyal to the promotion or happen to be finished with professional wrestling. Here are 5 wrestlers who will never sign with AEW and 5 they can't afford!
10 Will Never Sign: The Rock
Not only is AEW unable to afford The Rock, but they won't be signing The People's Champ either. With his commitment to ventures outside of the industry, The Rock may not even wrestle for WWE in the future.
If he were to step into the squared circle, it would be a homecoming to WWE. He has always been loyal to Vince McMahon for giving him the opportunity to kick off his journey and turn into a worldwide star as a wrestler first. When it comes to professional wrestling, don't expect The Rock to turn his back on the people.
9 Can't Afford: Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar has been granted one of the most favorable schedules in WWE history that allows him to earn tons of money. As the biggest draw in WWE today, it's understandable as to why WWE is still willing to pay him big bucks for part-time appearances. But AEW cannot match the perks handed by WWE to Lesnar and will always lose in a bidding war.
Lesnar is arguably Vince McMahon's most valued Superstar so he would be more than willing to retain him by any means necessary. Unless Lesnar is willing to take a paycut to join AEW, then don't expect him to see him there.
8 Will Never Sign: Randy Orton
A few months ago, many names were circulating as potential targets for WWE including Randy Orton. He would certainly be a big get for AEW, sending a strong message to Vince McMahon by taking away one of his most prized Superstars. But the rumors have no legs to stand on based on Orton's history with WWE. Having been an active wrestler for two decades now, Orton has a lot of mileage on his body despite only being 39 years old.
Aside from John Cena, Orton has the most pull behind the scenes out of any WWE performer. And he remains one of the highest performers as of today even when he isn`t involved in the main event scene. Throughout his WWE run, Orton has always defended the company while berating other promotions, making him an unrealistic signing for AEW.
7 Can't Afford: CM Punk
While many top wrestlers have been linked to AEW since its creation, none have been as prominent as CM Punk. With his intentions of remaining away from wrestling being clear, it seems an unlikely scenario that Punk signs with AEW.
Not only has he lost a large chunk of his passion for the industry, but Punk would demand a major paycheck that may not be in AEW's best interest in its early stages. The likelihood of Punk signing with AEW will also be largely dependent on how the weekly show plays out, as he may not want to join before gaining success.
6 Will Never Sign: Sting
Sting spent nearly his entire wrestling career employed by promotions other than WWE, beginning with WCW until his later days with TNA. In the past, Sting would've been a priority for AEW's management as a signing as he firmly didn't want to work for Vince McMahon`s empire.
Times have changed and now he is a part of the WWE Hall of Fame following a brief run that forced him to retire. While it is possible that he could still wrestle, after all, Sting may be discouraged from his neck injury as well as the recent bout between Goldberg versus The Undertaker. Sting would be welcomed into AEW in a non-wrestling role, but the company has no use for him to dust off the boots at 60 years old.
5 Can't Afford: Batista
Prior to his most recent comeback to WWE, there was chatter about the possibility of Batista making a shocking move to AEW. While the company may have reached out to The Animal, it doesn't appear like he truly considered their offer. Batista wanted a match with Triple H and got his wish along with a huge payday from WWE.
Following their gruesome match at WrestleMania 35, Batista announced his in-ring retirement thus putting all AEW rumors to bed. Given his loyalty to WWE, as well as his breakthrough into Hollywood, he is somewhat of an unrealistic target right now.
4 Will Never Sign: AJ Styles
Fans hoping to see AJ Styles reunite with many of his close friends in the industry are in for a disappointment. The addition of AJ Styles makes perfect sense on paper as he remains one of the best performers in the world and could bring so many eyeballs on the AEW product.
That's not to mention that he made his name away from WWE so AJ knows a thing or two about being on the other side of the spectrum. With his recent announcement that his current contract extension with WWE would be his last, AJ has made it clear that he would be stepping away from the ring. If AEW had been found a few years ago, AJ could've possibly been one of their first signings.
3 Can't Afford: Goldberg
Since the demise of WCW and his first exit from WWE in 2004, many promotions attempted to recruit Goldberg. TNA made a strong push over the years, and while they nabbed major names such as Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Kurt Angle, and Sting - they couldn't land a deal with Goldberg.
He has been commanding top dollar since his undefeated streak in WCW, and WWE had to pay a premium price to bring him back in 2016. Goldberg only returned to the ring again due to the unbelievable paychecks being handed out for Super ShowDown that AEW will be unable to match anytime soon.
2 Will Never Sign: The Undertaker
Not a single company has been able to pry The Undertaker away from WWE. TNA didn't even attempt to do so knowing they wouldn't stand a chance, while WCW`s approach was declined by him. He has been a loyal company man for the longest, and it has paid off for an all-time great career.
Given his close and strong relationship with Vince McMahon, it`s hard to imagine Taker picking up his bags to leave now that he is 54 years old. He still gets to wrestle on a part-time basis while earning millions of dollars to do so. If AEW were to approach him, it`s highly likely that he wouldn't even entertain an offer. Having been committed to WWE for so long, Taker will not be walking away from the company now that his career is nearing an end.
1 Can't Afford: John Cena
It's tough to imagine a timeline in which John Cena is wrestling for a promotion other than WWE. He has been the brand ambassador for 15 years now as the most popular Superstar of his era.
With his recent move into Hollywood, Cena's wrestling days have been reduced to part-time appearances. With his surge in the acting scene and a generous WWE contract, AEW is unable to compete for the services of John Cena. He would have to take a pay cut or simply turn his back on WWE for AEW to even stand a chance at entering negotiations.