WON: A lot of WWE and NXT talent have adopted a wait-and-see aspect with AEW. There are those in NXT and the main roster, who are talented but aren’t sure of their plight on the main roster, specially tag teams because with the Young Bucks, the division will be more high-profile, who are interested.
A lot of WWE and NXT talent have been aware of this and have adopted a wait-and-see aspect. Several, who figured to be frustrated with their spots have been given more television time on Raw and Smackdown instead of being ignored. There are those in NXT and the main roster, who are talented but aren’t sure of their plight on the main roster who figure, especially tag teams because with the Bucks, the division will be more high-profile, who are interested. Those who went through PWG and ROH and are friends with the people in charge are obviously the ones the most open-minded. Others, who haven’t, are waiting for the TV deal announcement. The ones who are the luckiest are probably the ones whose contracts run out toward the end of this year, either just before TV starts or shortly into it since AEW will need fresh faces. And at the end of the year, it will be more obvious what level AEW will be at and is the mass number of consumers, whether they be casual or lapsed fans, or teenagers who for whatever reason WWE isn’t cool to, are giving it a chance or not, which is the unknown and biggest question.
WON: The word is that Kenny Omega had already turned down WWE offer.
While nothing is signed and can’t be until 2/1, when his New Japan contract expires, he is expected to be with AEW as the word was that he had already turned down the WWE offer.
Again, per the statement above, Dave refuses to fully confirm with certainty that Kenny has signed with AEW; but this also means that 99.99% Omega would appear in AEW.
They are negotiating with two major cable networks for a live weekly two-hour show
AEW opened picking up sizable talent and there are very serious negotiations with two major cable stations for a weekly two-hour live prime time television show
The Jacksonville show is expected to take place in July, and the third show is expected to take place in Chicago in September
The second AEW show will be during the summer in Jacksonville, with a large percentage of proceeds going to benefit victims of gun violence. There is still a lot to work out for the show, but it will most likely be in July or closely related to that.
The third show, as yet unannounced, is likely to be in Chicago, possibly back at the Sears Center, over Labor Day weekend with the idea of being the anniversary of the first All In, and would also be a PPV show.
They are unlikely to land Mayu Iwatani, but are looking at other Japanese women including bringing in Aja Kong
Women wrestlers from Stardom and other promotions have been contacted. One of the key ones was Mayu Iwatani, who is unlikely to come. ROH, which also has an affiliation with Stardom, paid for Iwatani’s three-year U.S. visa so unless ROH and AWE make a deal, which will be difficult because they are competitors, Stardom feels it would be wrong to have her work against ROH, which also has booked Iwatani for its Madison Square Garden show.
Several Japanese women have been talked about for at least certain dates, including Hall of Famer Aja Kong, but that deal is not believed to be completed. But the Japanese women are being heavily scouted.
Tuesday Night Dynamite probably won't be a thing
While Tuesday Night Dynamite was trademarked and that obviously meant Tuesday was the plan at that time, it is up to the station they sign with and right now Tuesday looks highly unlikely, but two hours of live prime time is still the plan with either deal.
The Young Bucks turned down a very unique deal from WWE
Paul Levesque worked hard at getting all four into WWE. Page was offered main roster money to work NXT, where he’d have been pushed as one of its top stars. The Bucks & Cody were offered strong deals. The Bucks deal was for money roughly the same as WWE champion A.J. Styles, which would have also included BTE being made a regular weekly show on the WWE Network, as well as something I’ve never heard WWE concede on, which was a six-month window where they could have left their three-year contract if they wanted and weren’t happy with their push.
Of course, WWE was fully aware of the Khan deal as this was going down, which was one of the reasons they went so hard in locking up talent of late. The great offer with the six-month window was with knowledge that Khan was not doing the promotion without The Bucks & Cody and signing them would keep them from being opposition. Without them, Khan wouldn’t have the star power and stars of All In, meaning he’d likely not have the openings to everything from television to top talent that was necessary.
Those who work in WWE with knowledge of the deal were certain they wouldn’t turn it down, and outright told me that they would be debuting at the Rumble, and had a Rumble-to-Mania significant storyline. When they made the decision to go to AEW, they remarked that it was mind-boggling that they would ever get an offer at that level, and even more that they were turning it down. But they did roughly 12 hours of talks with Levesque, who they heavily praised in how he handled everything, in particular seeing the comedy aspect in the skit they did where they superkicked Kazarian dressed up as him over-and-over in what was the public turning down of the offer on BTE.
WON: Jericho's deal signed with AEW was for 3 years exclusive. While he publicly said that he’s got money and now he’s here to have fun, the reality is that he was offered a significantly better contract by AEW than what he had ever earned with WWE and still left him free for lucrative NJPW paydays.
Jericho, who was one of the first people aware the Khans were interested in starting a promotion, was still in negotiations with WWE as late as the end of December. His deal signed was for three years exclusive, meaning no big show WWE appearances during that time frame. The only exemptions he negotiated into his deal where that he can continue to work and make his own deal for New Japan, where he is interested in continuing and where they are interested in his continuing, and he can do anything he wants related to future Jericho Cruises. One would expect AEW to provide the talent for the cruises going forward. While Jericho publicly said that he’s got money, and now he’s here to have fun, the reality is that he was offered a significantly better contract by AEW than what he had ever earned with WWE and still left him free for very lucrative big show New Japan paydays.