After weeks of rumors and speculation, it’s finally official: All Elite Wrestling is a new wrestling promotion that will be launching in 2019. This was confirmed earlier tonight in the latest installment of Being the Elite, the YouTube show created by the Young Bucks. The video, which you can see below, reveals that the sequel to All In will be happening at some point in 2019, and that All Elite Wrestling will exist. Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer simultaneously confirmed much of the basic info about All Elite in an episode of the Wrestling Observer Radio podcast.
Here’s that episode of Being the Elite. Note that it doesn’t reveal much information at all, beyond the existence of the promotion and second All In show.
Most of the information currently available about All Elite Wrestling comes from the latest episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, which was uploaded to the Observer website seconds before the Being the Elite episode hit YouTube. According to Dave Meltzer, “there are guys signed” to All Elite, including Cody Rhodes. The Young Bucks themselves have not yet officially signed, but Meltzer believes they will “within 24 to 48 hours maybe.” All Elite doesn’t have a TV deal yet, but Meltzer reports that “there’s multiple offers out there,” and that he feels comfortable saying that a deal will be signed. Meltzer adds that “guys are being signed to multi-year contracts.” It’s unknown who those guys are beyond Cody, but the Being the Elite episode that announces All Elite features appearances from all three members of SCU—Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky—who are known to be free agents after the recent expiration of their Ring of Honor contracts.
Notably missing from that episode, outside the opening credits, are Kenny Omega and Marty Scurll. Omega is believed to be under contract to New Japan through the end of January, whereas Scurll’s deal with Ring of Honor supposedly doesn’t expire until the end of April. It’s unknown if either will be joining the rest of the Elite in All Elite Wrestling.
And speaking of New Japan, Meltzer reports that the American relationship with Japan’s top promotion is “100% up in the air.” Ring of Honor has been New Japan’s official American partner for years, and it’s been a mutually beneficial relationship for both companies. The Elite includes the bulk of the top American wrestlers in New Japan, though, and as Meltzer reports in his radio show, “everyone in All Elite would like to have a relationship with New Japan.” New Japan can probably cope without Cody or the Bucks, but Omega is the company’s current world champion and top gaijin; if Omega joins his fellow Elite members in the new promotion, it stands to reason that New Japan would strongly want to keep him in their booking plans, even if it means reaching a new arrangement with Ring of Honor that allows cooperation with an upstart promotion that’s stolen several of ROH’s top stars.
Meltzer also reports that more information will be revealed on Jan. 8 at a press event in Jacksonville. Paste almost definitely won’t be there (uh, I’m going to be in England for some videogame business), but we’ll have the news for you as soon as it’s released.
Despite the amount of attention given to the Being the Elite announcement, not much is yet known beyond what has been heavily rumored for weeks. We basically knew that All In was getting a sequel, and that there was a good chance that All Elite Wrestling would be launching as a new promotion under the guidance of Jacksonville Jaguars co-owner Tony Khan. Tonight’s YouTube video confirms the existence of both, and Meltzer’s radio show fills in additional information about contracts and what to expect next in the gradual roll out of AEW.
Meltzer did have one other piece of info that should be interesting to anybody who follows the wrestling business. When AEW was first rumored in 2018, Chris Jericho and Jim Ross’s names were connected to the nascent company. There’s no news on Ross’s involvement, but in his new radio show Meltzer does address Jericho’s participation. Earlier this week Jericho tweeted thanks to Tony Khan for helping him get on the field for the most recent Minnesota Vikings NFL game. Meltzer reports that Jericho “put that picture up obviously for a reason.” Meltzer reiterates that Jericho is “not signed right now,” but that “obviously he’s a guy on the radar.”
Jericho, of course, is a long-time WWE star who has worked for that company off and on since leaving WCW in 1999. Over the last year Jericho has started working for New Japan, appearing at both this week’s upcoming Wrestle Kingdom event and last year’s show, as well as a few other New Japan shows in-between. Jericho also made a surprise run-in on September’s All In PPV, which was promoted by the Elite with help from Ring of Honor and New Japan. Jericho has seemed unwilling to wrestling in America for a company that isn’t WWE, but if he’s in play for All Elite Wrestling there must be either interest on Jericho’s part or a compelling offer from AEW on the table.
There’s still so much unanswered about All Elite Wrestling. As a fan of wrestling, though, I can definitely say that it’s good to finally have some information on this long-rumored development. The thing exists, and all we need to know now is the specific form that thing will take. Hopefully we’ll have much more information to share on Jan. 8.