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Talent acquisition has to be the phrase swirling around promotions today. As a matter of fact, it is three-lined underlined after this week’s AEW Double Or Nothing Rally from Jacksonville, who trotted out the likes of Joey Janela, Penelope Ford, MJF, PAC and yes, Chris Jericho as new talent signed.
With that said, there are still a great deal of “outlaws” that deserves their shot at a new horizon and All Elite Wrestling has spots to fill in every facet of their on-air product. Here’s some of the stars in which I’d think would be some stand-out additions for what currently is the hottest brand (even without a TV deal announced) in pro wrestling.
Barrett (Stu Bennett) has been long enough away from his WWE run that he would absolutely make waves by joining the hot new Jacksonville-based promotion.
It wouldn’t take a whole lot of work to establish Barrett as a main eventer considering his look and charisma – it would just be a matter of himself finding the balance of that brash, bold Nexus leader we all loved to get behind and the bare-knuckled fighter WWE once packaged him as. Any way you shake it, he would be a knockout acquisition and be some real “Bad News” for Vinny and The Brass.
Willie Mack may be the NWA National Champion and a regular presence on IMPACT Wrestling, but his presence in the ring is all but global. Mack has the in-ring charisma and attitude that is missing from the mainstream wrestling product and as an individual, his look and persona will stand out. NWA is smart to have the strap on him, and AEW would be savvy to have him in the shuffle.
Zack Ryder 100% personifies what AEW is about – a self-made entity against all odds.
Despite WWE’s apprehension to push him as a star, Ryder trail-blazed his own path before promoting one self on YouTube became a big thing. He did exactly what WWE always preaches about what they want out of their talent – to stand out and “reach for the brass ring” (oh, how slippery that ring is). Ryder did and despite a few tips of the cap by his parent company, WWE has never been consistent with Ryder and despite him doing everything right, it has wore on his brand over the years.
Ryder going to AEW would be the fresh break for the Broski and give him the validation he deserves. With Ryder’s penchant for innovation, he could definitely get himself back into the conversation of wrestling fans.
Some wrestlers have egos in the business while others don’t and being apart of either category has its benefits. It takes a bit of an ego to make it to the top, but there certainly is something to say for self-reflectiveness and a sense of humor about one self. RJ City is one of those individuals.
An old soul at heart with the talent of five Lawrence Welks and the charisma of three Dom DeLuises, City has shown that he can work as the conceited heel or the reluctant babyface. He was the first to face David Arquette in his return to the squared circle last year, that turned into a Turner & Hooch-like bond between the two as City has taken Arquette under his wing.
City would make a very versatile addition to AEW’s talent roster that not only would deliver a fresh perspective on wrestling personas, but one that walks out to the “All That” theme and hold an impressive arsenal of maneuvers in his repertoire (my personal favorite is “Ain’t That A Kick In The Head”:
This leads us perfectly to the next suggestion and my next Dean Martin reference by calling our next talent suggestion “The Man Of The Hour”…
Much ado has been made about Arquette since his return to wrestling. The thespian has shown he is ready to rumble (dear God, me, enough with the puns!) with a chip on his shoulder as he wants to prove to the wrestling world that he isn’t some sort of punk who left a bad taste in the mouths of fans.
Arquette has stated before that one of his goals is to face Cody Rhodes in an effort to connect his own “American Dream” to “The Nightmare” and pay the business some respect by showing he has the drive and dedication. Arquette has certainly shown that passion, drive and dedication by wrestling matches across the States and by makin’ towns with the aforementioned RJ. He could work great as the likable underdog or the entitled, bitter heel that gets away with too much (a true contradiction to the AEW brand.)
Arquette would be a damn good get, and not just because of his fame, but his conviction.