Let’s get this straight! AEW aren’t going to sign every disgruntled WWE wrestler. Of course, they hit the jackpot when they signed Dustin Rhodes, Dean Malenko, Shawn Spears, Chris Jericho and most importantly, Jon Moxley. However, with President and Chief Executive Officer Tony Khan claiming AEW won’t ever be hoarding talent as WWE does, we can be assured we’ll only be seeing the bigger names drawing interest from AEW.
That said, the silly season has officially begun in the world of professional wrestling (after nearly two decades), and the rumours of talent moving between the companies will surely excite fans as much as the in-ring action does. Here are five wrestlers who are likely to remain loyal to WWE, along with five who are likely to jump ship the first chance they get.
10 Stay Loyal to WWE: Charlotte Flair
Ric Flair moved between World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and WWE during the peak of his career. However, his daughter Charlotte Flair has been a WWE original, and has been on their payroll since 2012. In seven years, she’s held the Women’s Championship nine times and the NXT Championship once.
One of the few wrestlers Vince McMahon and Triple H both seemingly agree on, she’ll likely go on to match her father’s record in coming years. Plus, given how unforgiving the fans can be towards Vinnie Mac’s pet projects, she probably won’t get over with the AEW fans. Thanks to a combination of reasons, she’ll always stay loyal to WWE.
9 Defect to AEW: Sasha Banks
Recent reports suggest Sasha Banks only recently signed a long-term contract with WWE. However, shortly afterward, WWE unceremoniously dethroned her as the Women’s Tag Team Champion. Since then, she hasn’t appeared on television, and has hinted at being disgruntled in the interviews she’s done since.
It remains to be seen if she’s merely working the fans while she takes some time off or she’s serious about leaving WWE. If it’s the latter, she needs to be as professional as Jon Moxley was about his exit as her current contract runs until 2021.
8 Stay Loyal to WWE: The New Day
Few wrestlers get creative freedom in WWE these days. Even Roman Reigns does scripted promos. The New Day, meanwhile, have been given the go-ahead to write their own promos, according to many reliable reports. Vince McMahon and co. respect the work The New Day have been doing; they even get away with saying things most would be fired for, both on the Internet and on the television.
No employee would ever leave a company that treats them like WWE treats The New Day, and they’ll definitely get improved contracts if they ask for it, given their profile. WWE Champion Kofi Kingston, Big E and UpUpDownDown’s Xavier Woods are going to be WWE through and through.
7 Defect to AEW: Harper
While it remains unkown if Sasha Banks has voiced her frustration to the company, it’s no secret that Harper has asked for his release. The former Intercontinental Champion even tweeted about it. However, WWE responded by adding the months he spent on the sidelines due to injuries to his contract, thus ensuring he doesn’t join AEW or move to the indies any time soon.
Given the support he receives from fans, he’ll surely make a solid AEW signing. Giving him the microphone on live TV to talk about his time in WWE as Brodi Lee or making him do a podcast with Chris Jericho like Jon Moxley did will have the IWC buzzing.
6 Stay Loyal to WWE: Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins has got everything going for him. Triple H loves him. Vince McMahon loves him. He’s won everything there is to win in the WWE today. He’s in a relationship with the company’s biggest star, Becky Lynch. He can also get WWE to pay him whatever he wants.
He’s only 33 years old and can also go on to become as big a name as John Cena or Randy Orton in coming years. Although Jon Moxley (his former The Shield brother) left WWE, he, a company man, probably won’t fancy a move to AEW, where he may have to play second fiddle to Kenny Omega.
5 Defect to AEW: The Revival
The Revival have made their intentions to leave clear. There are many parallels to be drawn between their current situation and Jon Moxley’s final days in WWE. WWE made the former Lunatic Fringe lose to EC3 and bump for Nia Jax while they’re now making a mockery out of The Revival by making them look idiotic in their current feud with The Usos.
It’s common for wrestling promotions to treat outgoing talent poorly and every sign points to The Revival moving to AEW, to finally face off against The Young Bucks and, perhaps, start a tag-team revolution.
4 Stay Loyal to WWE: Becky Lynch
Until recently, Becky Lynch was one of the first few names people would expect to move to AEW. However, in recent times, WWE has pushed her like no other female wrestler has been pushed before. Even nine-time Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair has never been booked as strongly as The Man has been.
Her fanbase has also been growing, in addition. Although she’s no longer Becky Two Belts, one expects her to be main-eventing for the foreseeable future. Given she’s also dating the male face of the company, Seth Rollins, her staying loyal to WWE is a given.
3 Defect to AEW: The Good Brothers
The Good Brothers are good friends with The Elites, as they're working with them as part of The Bullet Club in NJPW. When they signed for WWE along with A.J. Styles, many expected WWE to create their version of the NJPW stable. However, The Club flopped as WWE failed to pull the trigger.
They can go on to rediscover their mojo in AEW. That said, it remains to be seen if AEW want to sign them, though. NJPW or ROH wrestling seems a likely destination, but no-one would be surprised if they joined hands with the Jacksons.
2 Stay Loyal to WWE: Roman Reigns
Here’s the obvious pick! Roman Reigns has been Vince McMahon’s chosen one since The Shield’s break-up. WWE has had him beat The Undertaker at WrestleMania – the biggest sign the company wants you atop the pecking order. He’s won the world titles multiple times already and will go on to be a main-eventer for as long as he wants.
In addition, his family members, The Usos, Naomi and Nia Jax, are still working for WWE. The Big Dog is not leaving WWE for one more decade at the very least.
1 Defect to AEW: Dolph Ziggler
AEW has already signed a couple of statement signings in Jon Moxley and Chris Jericho. They’re not going to sign every former world champion. However, signing Dolph Ziggler will only put more eyes on the product.
The former World Heavyweight Champion hasn’t been as passionate about wrestling as he’s been in the past, going by his social media activity, and probably doesn’t enjoy being on the road 300 days of the year. AEW doesn’t have plans to travel as much as WWE does as of now, so he’ll fancy moving to AEW so he can focus on his other careers simultaneously.