The emergence of All Elite Wrestling is already creating a positive change in the wrestling industry. WWE is no longer the only wrestling promotion with a national television deal and financial backing to sign all the top performers. AEW has shown their impact with a major name like Dean Ambrose (aka Jon Moxley) choosing to leave WWE for the new promotion. There are already quite a few close relationships between wrestlers on both the AEW and WWE rosters.
WWE is already banning their employed talents from appearing at events lightly associated with AEW, like Starrcade. It will surelu upset them that many of their top talents have a connection with some of the people with important roles for the competition. Still, let's take a look at the nature behind each of these bonds between the wrestlers on the now rival rosters.
10 Adam Cole and Britt Baker
One romantic relationship between WWE and AEW featured the likeable couple of Adam Cole and Britt Baker. Cole was close to wrestlers like the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega before he made the move to join WWE as part of the NXT brand.
Baker is Cole's girlfriend, and has been making her own name. Her talent and potential made her the first female wrestler to get signed to AEW as the unofficial face of their women’s division. Baker made headlines when she was sitting ringside during Cole’s main event at TakeOver 25, just a few feet away from Stephanie McMahon.
9 Kevin Owens and the Young Bucks
Kevin Owens and the Young Bucks have remained close friends throughout the years. The three wrestlers worked together in Ring of Honor and PWG for years, with a lot of great matches together. Owens even joined them to become a trio tag team in PWG.
The wrestlers still have a close bond despite Owens joining WWE and the Young Bucks helping create AEW. Owens even appeared in an episode of Being the Elite when the Bucks were still in ROH and NJPW. If he ever wants to leave WWE, Owens will certainly have a connection to AEW.
8 Roman Reigns and Jon Moxley
The friendship between Roman Reigns and Jon Moxley has continued beyond their run together in WWE. Seth Rollins took some time to throw shade at Moxley in an interview for his comments running down the WWE creative process and overall product.
Reigns, however, had a tamer response when asked about his friend joining AEW. The general feeling was happiness for his friend, as Moxley will always be a brother to him. Despite Roman often representing WWE, Moxley is not someone he will turn his back on for company loyalty.
7 A.J. Styles, Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian
The four friends featured here created a bond together when working for Impact Wrestling. A.J. Styles, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe and Frankie Kazarian became the best of friends to the point where they were part of the wedding parties at each other’s weddings.
Joe and Styles are two of the top stars for WWE now, but they are still tight with the AEW tag team of Daniels and Kazarian, aka SCU. All four wrestlers created a close bond when they were stealing the show in Impact and they are all happy with their wrestling lives these days.
6 Finn Balor and Jimmy Havoc
Jimmy Havoc received his biggest opportunity in North America when signing with AEW, after making a name on the United Kingdom independent circuit. The hardcore wrestling style of Havoc makes him an intimidating and fascinating character.
Finn Balor is one of the closest friends of Havoc after the two worked together for a few years. Havoc was spotted sitting ringside during the main event of the first NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn as a guest of Balor, to watch him retain the NXT Championship. The two remained close through the years and are now friends in rival promotions.
5 Rey Mysterio and Rey Fenix
The time away from WWE for Rey Mysterio allowed him to work with some of the new rising stars on the independent circuit. Rey Fenix would win over Mysterio, as the talented young star worked with Rey in companies like Lucha Underground, AAA and even on the All In show, teaming in the main event.
Mysterio is an unofficial mentor for Fenix, given the comparisons that Fenix is the most talented luchador since Mysterio. There are influences of Mysterio in Fenix's work, as an all-time great wrestling legend in Mexico (and the entire world).
4 Cody Rhodes and Randy Orton
Cody Rhodes and Randy Orton's shared time in the Legacy faction in WWE created a great opportunity for both. Rhodes spent some of his early years aligned with --and learning from-- a top star, while Orton was given his own faction to add to his overall importance.
The friendship of Orton and Rhodes has continued even after the departure of Cody from WWE. Rhodes still names Orton as one of the best in the world when discussing the WWE roster. Orton has even put over Cody a few times on social media to show there is still love there.
3 A.J. Styles and the Young Bucks
A.J. Styles replacing Finn Balor in the Bullet Club helped shape the careers of many talents. The run in New Japan and Ring of Honor helped Styles regain the credibility he lost from any embarrassing moments in Impact Wrestling, to remind fans he was one of the best in the world.
Styles and the Young Bucks consistently worked together in multi-man tag team matches. The friendship between all parties certainly helped win over the fans that could see the group genuinely having fun together. Nick Jackson named Styles as a wrestler he’d love to have in AEW one day.
2 Peyton Royce and Tye Dillinger
The couple of Peyton Royce and Tye Dillinger features both wrestlers working for the rival promotion. Tye Dillinger grew frustrated in WWE with the lack of opportunities and no chances of a bigger push coming his way. Cody Rhodes offered him a chance in AEW as his new home.
Royce is still in WWE as one half of the Women’s Tag Team Champions with Billie Kay. The fit in WWE makes more sense for Royce, but she has publicly expressed pride for Dillinger doing well in his first few AEW appearances. Dillinger also sat ringside at WrestleMania to see Royce win the gold, despite leaving the company.
1 Kenny Omega and Xavier Woods
The friendship between Kenny Omega and Xavier Woods was formed from a shared passion of video games. Woods and Omega have faced off at a few public video game conventions, playing into a fun rivalry of working for other wrestling promotions.
Omega teamed with the Young Bucks to face Woods and New Day last year in a very different kind of match: Street Fighter. The days of the public video game matches are likely over now that WWE views the new AEW as a huge threat, but Woods and Omega are still close pals.