All Elite Wrestling has announced their first live television show on TNT. This show will offer the biggest possible audience any wrestling promotion outside of WWE has had a chance for since WCW was in business. With the first episode taking place in October, the same week SmackDown Live moves to Fox, AEW has a big chance to gain serious fans.
However, there are two things that AEWW has to do if they want to succeed on TNT. The first thing is to tell interesting stories with great in-ring wrestling matches involving young talent that can lead them into the future. However, on the flip side, they also need recognizable faces. Huys like Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley are there up front, but here are 10 WWE superstars that could also possibly pop up on AEW on TNT's premiere episode.
10 THE REVIVAL
Ok, there is no chance that The Revival will make an appearance on AEW on TNT this October. They are still currently under contract to WWE, and while they just lost the world tag team titles to The Club, they can't go anywhere until 2020 at the earliest.
However, it seems interesting that Scott Dawson of The Revival sent out a tweet last week to Arn Anderson that said: "see you soon." Think about this. Tully Blanchard is in AEW as a manager to Shawn Spears in his feud with Cody Rhodes. Chris Jericho promised surprise partners to team with him against Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks. It won't be The Revival with Arn Anderson as their manager, but it is fun to imagine the possibilities.
9 LIO RUSH
No one knows the status of Lio Rush in WWE. He was supposed to be a huge NXT star, but his immaturity got him in trouble when he sent out a tweet that rubbed many wrestlers the wrong way. He returned as a part of the main roster on both 205 Live and Raw, where he was Bobby Lashley's manager on the Red Brand.
Then, he rubbed more people the wrong way and has been off television for a very long time. Rush rejected a new deal from WWE in May for $300,000. There is no telling when his contract expires, but Rush could be a massive signing for AEW if he checks his ego at the door.
8 ENZO AMORE
This choice should make most AEW fans angry. Enzo Amore was never a good wrestler in the ring, but he was gold when it came to his talking on the microphone. The problem is that he has an arrogance and attitude that could ruin things backstage in a promotion that promotes creative freedom in character work.
However, Enzo has been working his way back into the wrestling business this year, even bringing in Big Cass with him as well. They have made an appearance in Ring of Honor, although the company never followed through on it yet. There is a chance nZo and CaZXL could show up on AEW on TNT, but not likely.
There have been a ton of rumors when it comes to AEW looking at some more prominent, unlikely names to join the company. These names included everyone from Bill Goldberg and Dave Bautista to Ryback. Goldberg is now back in WWE, and Bautista is retired. Ryback, on the other hand, has done most of his talk himself.
Ryback left WWE and has made a lot of noise on podcasts and interviews since then. He rubs many wrestling fans the wrong way with his attitude since leaving WWE, and he seems the least likely former WWE star to show up on AEW on TNT. However, Ryback could work out if he willingly puts over younger talent in the company, although that is not likely either.
6 LUKE HARPER
Much like The Revival, the arrival of Luke Harper on AEW on TNT is not expected to happen due to his WWE contract, but like Lio Rush, he is also someone whose contract status is unknown right now. Harper publicly asked WWE to release him, and they reportedly responded by extending his contract. If this is true, he won't be a free agent until 2020.
However, WWE also refuses to use Luke Harper and has him sitting on the sidelines. When Harper gets out of his contract, expect him almost instantly to sign with AEW and jump ship. Don't expect it to be on the premiere episode of AEW on TNT, but since he has been MIA for a long time, it would make things interesting if he did.
5 AUSTIN ARIES
Austin Aries is almost more trouble than he is worth. He is one of the best wrestlers in the world today. However, Aries has left bad tastes in the mouth of just about everyone that he worked with. He left WWE on bad terms and bad mouthed them on his way out the door.
Aries went to Impact Wrestling and became their world champion but threw a public tantrum when he lost the title to Johnny Impact and left the company on bad terms as well. He is now wrestling for Major League Wrestling. MLW is putting their foot down on sharing talent with AEW, prohibiting Tony Schiavoni from working with them but this all depends on Aries' contract. MJF also worked for MLW.
4 JOHN MORRISON
Johnny Impact, the former John Morrison in WWE, has had an amazing career since leaving WWE. He went to Lucha Underground and was a massive success, the company's second Triple Crown Champion, holding the world title, Gift of the Gods title, and the trios title (the last of which he held with AEW wrestler Jack Evans).
Then, Morrison went to Impact Wrestling and changed his name to Johnny Impact. He ended up as their world champion as well, beating Austin Aries. Here is the key. Johnny's contract expired in June, and he worked without a deal until Slammiversary in July. With Johnny as a free agent, showing up in AEW could be a massive surprise.
3 DAMIEN SANDOW
Damien Sandow was a no-go up until last month. At the All Out PPV for AEW, Cody Rhodes will battle Shawn Spears. Cody and Shawn were best friends in the WWE developmental territories, and this feud had a lot to do with Spears feeling Cody uses his friends and then discards them when he no longer needs them.
Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes were tag team partners in WWE, and Sandow was a hugely popular superstar. He could easily show up as part of this angle of former Rhodes' friends who were left hung out to dry by the AEW VP. Aron Stevens, as he called himself in Impact Wrestling, retired in 2017. However, Sandow has since announced a return to the squared circle. Could he be coming to AEW?
2 JACK SWAGGER
There are a lot of rumors of who Chris Jericho is bringing with him as his mystery partners at the AEW on TNT premiere in October. One of the names on that list is Jack Swagger. This surprise arrival could give Jericho a former WWE world champion and someone bigger than the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega to serve as muscle for his team.
Swagger, whose real name is Jake Hager, joined Bellator and has an undefeated 2-0 MMA record. He also worked for Lucha Underground since 2018, although that promotion might be finished, with Jake Strong, as he was called there, as their last champion. It should be noted; he was in a stable there with AEW superstar Sammy Guevera.
The most likely former WWE superstar to appear on AEW on TNT is Neville. This one would be a long time coming, as Neville showed up at the AEW press conference announcing the new promotion and challenged Adam Page to a match there.
Known on the indies as Pac, this debut never happened because he also wrestled for Dragon Gate. Originally, Pac was booked to beat Page and then lose to Kenny Omega, and Dragon Gate did not want their champion to lose. Now that Pac is no longer a champion in Dragon Gate, it opens the door for him to show up in AEW and lay down a challenge for the first AEW World Champion, whether it is Chris Jericho or Adam Page.