The biggest rumor circulating among professional wrestling fans nowadays is a couple of WWE Superstars are making the transition over to All Elite Wrestling. This shouldn’t really be big news as AEW have been actively recruiting stars from the WWE for a while now. This is why we’ve seen the likes of Jon Moxley, Miro, Matt Hardy, Christian Cage, Andrade and Chavo Guerrero Jr enter the squared circle of AEW. However, the rumor isn’t for just any former WWE Superstar. No, the rumor is that Daniel Bryan and CM Punk are going to be All Elite soon!
This has the wrestling community in a tizzy as, if this were all true, it would deal a huge blow to WWE and be a major coup for AEW by bolstering its roster with a couple of the most popular wrestlers in the world. I can bet a slew of current WWE fans will start tuning in to AEW Dynamite to catch either Daniel Bryan or CM Punk return to in-ring action. I can even see some former wrestling fans giving AEW a go just to see their favorite wrestlers don tights once again after a long absence.
It seems like this would be the best move for AEW to get both Daniel Bryan and CM Punk and put them in front of the cameras and get them into the ring as soon as possible. I am definitely on board with all that. However, a teeny tiny part of me thinks, as good as all of this seems on the surface, this might be a bad idea for AEW in the long run.
Now, I have no doubt wrestling fans will immediately tune in to AEW if they get a whiff of possibility either Daniel Bryan or CM Punk will appear from out of the blue. It would be a ratings dream for All Elite Wrestling and would probably be akin to Scott Hall just randomly coming out of the crowd on WCW Nitro and accost the broadcast team. It’s the kind of impactful debut they deserve.
That’s all well and good and will definitely help AEW with their ratings. They will have to keep the ball rolling, of course, which will mean they’ll have to devote a lot of time and focus on either Daniel Bryan or CM Punk, whichever of them is making their debut. Doing this will definitely translate to more and more fans watching AEW just to see what will happen next.
I could also see either Daniel Bryan and CM Punk doing a good job in getting some of the current AEW stars over for the fans who will have just started watching AEW. It’s kind of the duty for veteran and more popular wrestlers to help the younger and less established wrestlers get over. After all, they are the next generation and, while they are inexperienced now, they will be the future superstars and legends. I mean, wouldn’t it be lovely to see something like Orange Cassidy performing his “debilitating” kicks to Daniel Bryan, the man who may have popularize it in the first place?
That’s all well and good but I do have to question how this will take away from the focus of their current stars, especially the ones who won’t be featured going against these big named wrestlers? I can see the likes of MJF and Sammi Guevarra doing just fine because I can definitely see them as AEW’s first picks to feud with them. I’m more worried about the other longtime AEW performers who definitely have potential but not being used all that well. I’m talking about the likes of Kip Sabian and Austin Gunn who have been loyal to the company. Will they be put on the back burner?
This potential problem is also exacerbated by the numerous former WWE Superstars who have already joined AEW prior to all these rumors. I’ve already mentioned a few of them and, honestly, it does seem like a lot already. I know a majority of them aren’t using their WWE names and WWE owns the copyright to them. This doesn’t change the fact we all know them as being from the WWE. It’s starting to look like AEW is becoming a dumping ground of those who have been future endeavored! I’m not trying to make these former WWE guys sound lame but, in all honesty, there’s already a lot of them and adding Daniel Bryan and CM Punk might just be too much.
I’m also worried of AEW’s wallet and how signing these guys will affect their bottom line. No matter what people say, wrestling is still a business and companies like AEW aren’t just here to entertain wrestling fans; they’re here to make as much money as possible. So I get why they want to attract big names to their company. After all, big names will draw fans to the product. However, at a certain point, if they keep this up and keep signing big named talents who will command sky high salaries, AEW will start to hemorrhage money. Suddenly, that big name guy who was supposed to draw in big bucks becomes more of a liability. I mean, this was part of the reason why Bret Hart jumped ship to WCW; Vince McMahon couldn’t afford Bret Hart’s salary. You know what happened as a result? The Montreal Screwjob.
I’m not saying this level of backstabbing will happen but there will be a reckoning and I’m afraid it’s not the WWE veterans who’ll bear the brunt but the smaller and more loyal AEW wrestlers who’ll feel it. It just makes good business sense to keep the well-known names on the roster rather than the lesser known ones, despite them being in AEW since Day 1.
Of course, maybe I’m blowing it all out of proportion. Maybe I’m overanalyzing what should be a really sweet deal for AEW and wrestling fans in general. There’s a strong possibility my worries are all going to amount to nothing and all I’m saying will never come to pass. I get that but the pessimist in me can’t help but think of the worst possible scenario even if it’s going to involve something as good as possibly seeing CM Punk take on the likes of Kenny Omega or Daniel Bryan duking it out with the likes of MJF or Darby Allin.
I’m still all for Daniel Bryan and CM Punk going to AEW… but not at anyone else’s expense.
What’s your take on the rumor of Daniel Bryan and CM Punk moving to AEW? Let me know in the comments section below!