Tossing Salt Presents:
Stay or Go: An In Depth Analysis of the Full Rosters of AEW & The WWE
AEW Men: A – D
November 11. 2022
Over on YouTube on the Jim Cornette podcast, The Jim Cornette Experience, the esteemed wrestling historian and legend, Mr. Jim Cornette, along with co-host Brian Last, took a very detailed look at the entire roster of All Elite Wrestling. They tried to determine, one by one, if the talents on the roster were worthy of being part of AEW and having a wrestling contract for a national promotion. It was a very insightful and interesting listen and you should go check it out.
And it got me wondering. I’m no Jim Cornette, but I’ve been told I’m a good judge of talent and have a good mind for the business. If I was to take a look down the line at the AEW roster and each talent, what would I do with them? Keep them? Fire them. Teach them how to do the Macarena? Well, there is only one way to find out. So starting now and over the next few days, we’re going down the lists of the AEW and WWE rosters. I will look at each person and give my take, in a few words, as to the potential they have and if I would suggest keeping them, letting them go, finding a different role for them, or what. This should be fun.
So buckle up the safety belts and get ready for a wild ride. We’re starting with the men of AEW and then will move on accordingly. So are you ready? Let’s do this. And away we go.
The Men of AEW: A through D
Aaron Solo: I like Aaron and he’s got a lot of personalities that are rarely allowed to be shown on TV, but he has potential and is a good worker. He stays.
Adam Cole: He would stay, but he needs to get into the gym more and be kept away from bad influences. I want the Adam Cole that was in NXT and not what has been showing up thus far into his AEW run.
Adam “Hangman” Page: He had so much potential, but the attitude and he seems to think he already knows it all. He’s getting cut.
Alex Reynolds (of The Dark Order): A good talent with some potential, but he would need a total reboot to get the stink of the Dark Order off of him. He’s staying but has a lot of work ahead of him before he’s back on TV.
Andrade El Idolo: He’s made it clear that he doesn’t want to be in AEW so just cut him loose and let him go.
Angelico: I don’t have anything special here. If AEW was a Lucha company, he’d be welcome, but they’re not so he goes.
“Cool Hand” Angelo Parker: Again, nothing special here. He’s been lost in the mix so long, I can’t think of anything he’s done. He’s getting the cut.
Anthony Bowens; One-half of the hottest tag teams in AEW today and he’s got so much potential, plus so much more to come. He gets it. Staying.
Anthony Ogogo: He has potential, but I don’t see a big upside to him. I’d keep him for a while to see how he develops and grows, but if the improvement isn’t there, he’d be on borrowed time.
Ariya Daivari: Ariya is a very talented guy and if used properly, can have good matches, talk, etc. He has a huge upside if used properly and could make some major money, again if used properly. He stays.
Austin Gunn: He is very good and getting better all the time. He’s soaking up the learning like a sponge and would be kept around.
Billy Gunn: It’s Billy Gunn. Hell yes, he stays, and if anyone objects, two words for them.
Brian Cage: He has the looks and the character, but so far, he’s been booked terribly and would need some strong matches and some tweaking to his character to get him back on track, but yes, he would be kept around.
Blade (of Butcher & The Blade): He’s got the look and he’s a good job-guy. Keep him.
Brandon Cutler: Kenny Omega’s valet. He’s gone.
Brian Pillman Jr.: This guy can do it all and has great potential. Add his history and lineage to the mix and he’s a future big name if used properly. Yes, he stays.
Brock Anderson: I haven’t seen much of Brock in the ring, but considering who his father is, plus the little I have seen, I’d keep him to see what can be done to make him a bigger name.
Brody King: He’s big and works well, but just seems to be lost in the shuffle that is AEW, which is a shame because he’s very capable and has all the tools. He stays.
Bryan Danielson: It’s the American Dragon. Of course, he stays as long as he wants to do so.
Buddy Matthews: Buddy has all the tools to be a big name one day. WWE didn’t know what to do with him and wasted him, but the potential is there. He would stay.
Butcher (of Butcher & The Blade): If I’m keeping Blade, I’m keeping Butcher. AEW needs their mid-card job guys, right?
Cash Wheeler: Do you even have to ask? He stays.
Chris Jericho: When he wants to, Jericho can do so much, even now, both in and out of the ring. He can also be a bit of a parasite and tries to leech off the younger talents and make it all about himself. But honestly, the good outweighs the bad. Chris would be welcome to stay.
Christian Cage: Cage would be excellent working with the younger talents and taking them to the next level. As with Danielson, so long as Christian wants a job, he’d be very welcome.
Christopher Daniels: Daniels is a good worker in that ring, but when both Vince Russo and Jim Cornette call you out for being more disruptive than useful, you know you’ve got issues. Daniels would be gone.
Chuck Taylor: I guess I wouldn’t be getting any kind of hug from this best friend because I’d be showing him the door. He’s gone.
Claudio Castagnoli: A great performer who literally can do it all. Need you even ask? Cesaro stays.
CM Punk: The man has great matches, great promos, drew fans and sold merchandise. He tells solid stories that make sense, has matches that make sense, and all he asks for is for people to be honest and quit the backstabbing. I’d keep Punk and have him coach other talents as well. Punk = Money!
Colt Cabana: Boom Boom will be leaving the building. He’s gone!
Colten Gunn: The Gunn Club is a great, fun team that has so much upside, it’s ridiculous. They get it. They’re staying.
Danhausen: I like Danhausen as a character, but as a wrestler, the comedy gets stale fast. If he wants to stay on to be a manager or do an interview segment, make appearances and do autograph signings, I’d keep him. I like odd. But as an in-ring performer, he would be sent packing.
Daniel Garcia: Garcia is good with a lot of potentials, but he needs to learn to talk and get more of a personality. I’d keep him though.
Dante Martin: He’s the high flyer of the team. He’s got skills but needs to learn to pace, ring psychology, and work on the other parts of his matches aside from being so flippy. He’s got some potential. I’d keep him.
Darby Allin: I don’t get his character, but he draws fans, makes money, and the kids seem to like him. I’d keep him, but try to make him slow down and limit the bumps to make them have more impact and matter. He’s a talented kid though & I’d want him to stay.
Darius Martin: He’s okay, but all he does is seem to be injury prone and hasn’t had the chance to show anyone anything because he can’t stay healthy long enough. He’s getting cut.
Dax Harwood: Dax is half of the greatest tag team currently in wrestling. He stays.
Dustin Rhodes: Dustin himself has talked recently about age taking its toll so I’m not sure how many matches he has left, but be it a producer, announcer, manager, trainer, or whatever he would feel comfortable doing, a talent like Dustin Rhodes is a very welcome part of any promotion’s locker room. He definitely would be asked to stay.
And there you go. This seems like a good stopping point. More is on the way because we’ve only just started. The rest of the AEW locker room and then the WWE locker room. It’s going to be a wild ride so keep your eyes open and be ready for more.
My thanks for reading. Any comments, thoughts, or questions are welcome. Until the next time, probably later today, take care and be safe. I’ll see you at the matches.