It's official. All Elite Wrestling is a brand new wrestling promotion, funded by Fulham FC owner, Tony Khan and ran by Cody Rhodes and his Elite buddies.
AEW is the next exciting step in Cody Rhodes's post-WWE journey. The WWE mid-carder requested and was granted his release from the company back in 2016 as the promotion refused to allow Rhodes to retire the opening match gimmick Stardust character. Therefore, Rhodes decided to branch out on his own, wrestling for a large number of independent promotions before finding a home in Ring of Honor and New Japan Wrestling.
While wrestling in both companies, Rhodes formed the Elite stable with his friends, the Young Bucks, Marty Scurll, Kenny Omega and Hangman Page.
That group became a sensation; one of the most popular acts in all of wrestling as they sold boatloads of merchandise bearing their logo.
So confident were the group with their drawing ability that they organised the largest independent wrestling show of all time, All In from Chicago, Illinois. They pulled a massive 11,263 paying fans to the Sears Centre as they took centre stage alongside a bevvy of talent from across the globe, including WWE legends, Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio, NWA World Champion, Nick Aldis, Ring of Honor Champion, Jay Lethal and Japanese megastars, Kazuchika Okada and Kota Ibushi.
The show was a critical as well as a commercial success and has obviously given the group the confidence to end their ties with Ring of Honor and New Japan; at least for the time being to go it alone and form AEW.
Other than themselves and a few others, details of the AEW have been thin so far.
The names that the company may be looking to sign are said to be long with Omega, who is uncommitted so far and WWE's Shinsuke Nakamura apparently high on their wishlist.
But who else will AEW sign? And who should they not sign? In the following slideshow, SK analyses five names that AEW may try to target but gives reasons why they shouldn't.
#5 Zack Ryder
The former United States and Intercontinental Champion has been rumoured to be a target for Cody Rhodes and his crew as they look to build up a loaded talent roster for AEW.
However, Zack Ryder should not be a name they target. The man who got over in WWE in 2011 against the company's will with his entertaining YouTube shows and "Internet Champion" gimmick was roundly punished by WWE for getting over by himself when he was soundly defeated by Kane and booted off television after he was betrayed by his supposed best friend John Cena and his on-screen girlfriend, Eve.
Ryder did not wrestle a single match on Monday Night Raw in 2018, bar the Fresh Start Battle Royal on the last Raw of 2018, and while a move would be good for him and his long stagnant career, for AEW who are looking to be the hip and fresh brand of wrestling, signing a past his sell by date gloried jobber, would make them look like a home for WWE rejects not the cool wrestling group they are aspiring to be.
Sorry Zack; the AEW boys need to steer clear.