After weeks of speculation, All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and All In sequel “Double or Nothing” has been officially announced. The announcement came at the end of the latest episode of the popular YouTube show Being the Elite (BTE).
There is a “Double or Nothing” rally at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida on Tuesday, January 8 at 5:00 pm. A special announcement is expected to be made at this rally, which is free to the public.
Jacksonville Jaguars co-owner Tony Khan is President of the company and the money behind AEW. Tony is a longtime wrestling fan and the son of billionaire Shahid Khan.
Wrestling Observer reported earlier today Cody Rhodes has officially signed with the company and The Young Bucks (Nick and Matt Jackson), while not signed yet, are expected to sign within the next 48 hours. All three wrestlers reportedly turned down offers from WWE.
Hangman Page, Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky are all staples of Being the Elite and are also expected to sign with AWE. All four wrestlers turned down offers to resign with Ring of Honor as their contracts expired at the end of December. Page reportedly turned down an offer from WWE back in October.
The final three members of the BTE crew are spoken for to various degrees. “The Villain” Marty Scrull is reportedly under contract to ROH until the end of April. Flip Gordon recently signed a new two-year contract, which takes him off the board for the foreseeable future.
Then there is Kenny Omega who is under contract to New Japan Pro Wrestling until January 31st. It will be interesting to see what happens on Friday when Omega defends the IWGP Heavyweight Title against Hiroshi Tanahashi in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 13.
Omega is highly regarded by many as the best wrestler in the world. He is in the driver’s seat from a financial standpoint. New Japan, under their new leadership, is offering more significant money contacts than ever before. WWE wants zero competition, has more money to play with than ever before due to their massive TV contracts beginning this year, and are signing anyone with name value.
WWE traditionally doesn’t offer high six or seven figure contracts to wrestlers who made their name outside of the company. The last time they did was for AJ Styles, and it worked out exceptionally well for both parties. Omega can command such a dollar amount. While AEW would be the emotional favorite to sign Omega, WWE could very well sweep in with an offer too good to refuse.
Make no mistake about it, from a talent perspective, Kenny Omega is the ace in the deck While it wouldn’t derail AWE if they couldn’t sign him, it would be a big blow that would almost have them walking uphill coming out of the gate.
Wow, I almost forgot about Chris Jericho.
Y2J has done a fantastic job of reinventing himself in New Japan Pro Wrestling. He holds their Intercontinental Title and will defend it against Tetsuya Naito at Wrestle Kingdom 13. Jericho wrestles on per date basis and is currently not under contract to any promotion.
Over the last year, Jericho has lessened the reigns on his self-imposed restriction to not work for any other promotion except for WWE. He worked for New Japan, appeared at All In, did guest spots on Being the Elite, and helmed a successful wrestling cruise. AEW being able to land both Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho will make it a lot easier for the company to get a television deal, which is already rumored to have several offers.
It is an exciting time in the wrestling industry. AEW could be the first promotion to compete with the WWE in eighteen years. It will be interesting to see where everything ends up between now and when the first bell rings on the inaugural episode of AWE television.