AEW needs a win in 2023 to get back to the good graces of wrestling fans. After an initial burst of goodwill when the company started, they started showing cracks in their armor and numerous problems in the locker room.
Tony Khan and his wrestlers need to work hard to bring positivity back to the promotion. One significant change that’s already been implemented is a revamped look and feel of AEW’s TV shows, Rampage and Dynamite, with new stages and presentations.
But aside from the cosmetic changes, what else can AEW do to make a huge impact in the coming year? Here are five big adjustments AEW needs to institute in 2023.
#5. AEW should turn Jon Moxley heel
Jon Moxley has been an absolute workhorse for All Elite Wrestling. The 3-time former AEW World Champion has carried the company through turbulent times, from the pandemic to the post-All Out backstage brawl.
During his tenure, Mox was always exclusively a babyface or anti-hero. Now that he is finally taking a step away from the title picture, perhaps it's time to refresh his character.
The former WWE Superstar has started to showcase heel tendencies in his current rivalry with Hangman Page. After legitimately injuring The Cowboy with a King Kong Lariat, he displayed no remorse.
Now that Page has got his win back from Mox, this might be the perfect opportunity for a full-fledged heel turn. It would create even more intrigue for the Blackpool Combat Club as the entire faction could also turn.
Imagine the BCC ruling Dynamite as an all-conquering villainous stable. It could spell great trouble for the rest of the AEW locker room.
#4. Tony Khan should buy WWE
After news broke of WWE considering a sale, several candidates have come forward as potential buyers. These include several media conglomerates and even a possible bid from the Saudi Arabian investment group. But the biggest surprise was easily AEW President Tony Khan and his family.
The father and son duo of Tony and Shahid Khan were reported as showing interest in the purchase of WWE and would seek a financial partner if they decided to buy out the sports entertainment giants.
“I am interested in the news that there is potentially a sales process and certainly, I think we’ve shown, when there are acquisitions and transactions, we’re capable of making the big purchases,” Khan said. (H/T Fightful)
Tony Khan touted his success with AEW and ROH as evidence that he could run WWE successfully as well:
"With AEW, we've shown that we can build a company. Even when I purchased Ring of Honor, that's a very different thing than WWE, but Ring of Honor is a company with 20 years of history and I really have enjoyed running it and we've shown that we're at all-time highs in terms of every business metric since we relaunched it and it's only going to get better. AEW is my main focus, but certainly, when that news is out there, it's very interesting." (H/T Fightful)
It will undoubtedly be a massive shock to the pro wrestling world and bring the industry back to a monopoly once more. While it would certainly be interesting to see how Tony Khan manages both major promotions, the biggest silver lining would be for the AEW owner to remove the PG rating from WWE.
It could spark the second coming of The Attitude Era, under an owner who is not afraid to push the envelope to entertain the WWE Universe.
3. Tony Khan should let Andrade get out of his AEW contract
Andre El Idolo's time with All Elite Wrestling has been a mixed bag. He started off strong with a featured storyline against former EVP Cody Rhodes. But since then, he has slipped into irrelevance and barely featured on Dynamite in 2022.
El Idolo has not wrestled since All Out, where he fought in the Casino Ladder Match. He was reportedly suspended after an alleged backstage fight with Sammy Guevara. El Idolo has been further speculated to be teasing a WWE return as well.
Clearly, the former NXT Champion wants to return to his previous company, and Tony Khan should just let him. Andrade's wife is the current WWE SmackDown Women's Champion, Charlotte Flair, so it makes sense for him to want to reunite with her there. There's also his former manager Zelina Vega on the roster and Triple H as Head of Creative, who has pushed him in the past during his time in NXT.
Khan is better off focusing on the talent that wants to remain in All Elite Wrestling and build the company around them instead.
2. AEW should sign Brock Lesnar
What else is left for Brock Lesnar to achieve in WWE? He is already a surefire Hall of Famer and multiple-time WWE Champion. There's nothing to prove for The Beast Incarnate, and now that he is no longer in the title picture, he could use a change in scenery.
Being the businessman that he is, Lesnar would definitely be open to one last big payday before he rides off into the sunset. If Tony Khan can stump up the cash, why not get The Beast for a short contract?
Even a yearlong run could lead to dream matches with the likes of Wardlow and MJF or revisit past rivalries with Bryan Danielson and Jon Moxley. Imagine The Conqueror destroying the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega. That would be entertaining television for sure.
#1. AEW should bring back CM Punk
This is a no-brainer. CM Punk was the biggest draw in All Elite Wrestling history. In the year that he wrestled full-time with the company, he had an outstanding feud with MJF and even became a 2-time AEW World Champion.
It's a shame that the post-All Out media scrum drama derailed the Straightedge Superstar's chances of having a decent title reign. The company is definitely feeling his current absence, and Tony Khan would do well to eventually bring Punk into the fold.
Rather than split the locker room, an impending Punk vs. The Elite feud could potentially unify them instead. It could spark massive ratings and sell-out pay-per-view tickets, as long as both parties can put their massive egos aside.
Poll : What is more likely to happen?
Jon Moxley turns heel
Brock Lesnar signs with AEW