The playing field within the wild, wild world of professional wrestling has widened with the arrival of All Elite Wrestling.
Since coming onto the scene, the Khan family and “The Elite” have presented a product full of talented wrestlers who have wowed audiences across the country. AEW’s grand debut treated loyal wrestling fans to classic matches that featured the likes of Kenny Omega, Jon Moxley, Cody, Dustin Rhodes, the Young Bucks, and countless others. From top to bottom, AEW’s locker room is jam-packed with quality veterans and future superstars who are being primed to take the company into an even brighter future.
There’s a lot to love about AEW. And most of that fan affection points towards the gifted men and women that ply their trade every time AEW puts on a show. The 20 wrestlers listed below are the ones you need to watch on the regular and the individuals who always put on a memorable performance when called upon.
Kenny Omega garnered the world’s attention when he regularly delivered five-star rated matches during his time spent in NJPW. He pushed the envelope with his style of wrestling and pulled in a huge subset of fans due to his global superstardom. It wasn’t quite the shock when Omega decided to pass on WWE in favor of AEW, plus it was cool to see him continue to build upon his superior resume of work. Omega has competed in some of the greatest matches in AEW thus far against the likes of Chris Jericho, Joey Janela, Jon Moxley, the Young Bucks, PAC, etc. He even pulled off a tremendous mixed-tag team match alongside Riho against Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford! Omega is at the top of the AEW food chain and deservedly so.
Cowboys still kick all of the asses in this modern age of subtweets, live streams, and hashtags. Adam Page may participate in all the social media talk too, but he handles his in-ring work well like a throwback of Clint Eastwood. Adam loves to ride horses to the ring, throw sick lariats like a modern-day Stan Hansen and chug free cups of booze after claiming victory. Thank God he transitioned from a milquetoast good guy to give no F’s outlaw. Adam has continually shown just how great he is by competing in standout solo and tag team bouts. Plus he’s looked great in a battle royale and also done the cinematic wrestling match deal well during the Stadium Stampede at Double or Nothing 2020. Adam’s the type of guy who’d knock out a drunk bum at a bar and share a keg of beer with you immediately after.
To see Chicago’s favorite son return to the squared circle once again is a blessing. And to see him so rejuvenated as a core member of the AEW roster is equally amazing. CM Punk is back in fine form in the ring and whenever he has the mic in his hand. After shaking off all those years of ring rust, Punk has morphed into one of AEW’s marquee talents. He mixes it up with anyone and everyone, including Darby Allin, Powerhouse Hobbs, Eddie Kingston, MJF, etc. It feels so good to watch Punk lay out his foes with his trusty Go to Sleep once again.
The “American Dragon” that everyone loved to watch kick people’s heads in during his ROH days is now present within AEW. Bryan Danielson has re-adopted his indie wrestling mean streak and has proceeded to tap out and knock out everyone that tries to test him. Danielson’s slick submission work, stiff strikes, and brutal suplexes are all simply a work of art – he’s used that wide repertoire of his to put on in-ring bangers with the likes of Kenny Omega, Adam Page, Miro, and many more. Danielson is in fine form in AEW as one of its very best wrestlers to follow.
The core of All Elite Wrestling lies within the talented contingent of wrestlers known as “The Elite.” Thanks to their business acumen and strong relationship with the fans, The Elite has thrown another strong wrestling fed out into the wild and carved out their own niche. The spectacular tag team that’s a part of that group is the Young Bucks, which consists of the Superkick Party’s main hosts Matt and Nick Jackson. Their strong body of work now features a collection of incredible matches from AEW. They’ve taken everyone’s breath away after competing against top teams such as the Lucha Brothers, Private Party, and Kenny Omega & Adam Page. And on their own, they’ve also done fine work within solo bouts. Simply put, the Young Bucks are the cornerstone of AEW’s tag team divisions.
The man formerly known as WWE’s Dean Ambrose ditched that moniker and entered AEW with the name that gained him so much notoriety during his indie days. And now that he’s back to being a one-man hardcore army, Jon Moxley is reenergized and a regular highlight of AEW’s weekly show and PPVs. Moxley’s awesome theme song adds to his allure and his vicious in-ring style presents him as one of the most badass competitors in all of wrestling. Moxley can be counted on to work a great normal in-ring bout and also turn things up a notch when relaxed rules are put into play. Whether he’s in NJPW or AEW, Jon Moxley is worth watching no matter whom he’s rampaging against.
Chris Jericho has already solidified his status as one of wrestling’s undisputed GOATs. Now that he’s taken his services to AEW, Jericho has once again evolved and done an incredible job of performing at a very high level. His snarky attitude, amazing taste in fashion, in-ring expertise, and ability to make anyone he’s pitted against look good has positioned Jericho as one of AEW’s top stars. Jericho’s legendary status afforded him the opportunity to rule the world as AEW’s first World Champion and birth the company’s most powerful stable. You just can’t not sing Jericho’s “Judas” theme song whenever he struts down the ramp. Jericho is money and always will be.
AEW’s enigmatic skateboarder is the ultimate risk-taker that’s always a joy to watch. As a personality, Darby Allin’s half-painted face and mysterious vignettes easily pull in viewers. And whenever the bell rings, everyone knows he’ll probably do something extremely risky that’ll leave his or her jaws on the floor. Darby may not be as tall or bulky as his AEW contemporaries, but he makes up for it all with plenty of heart and tenacity. Darby’s been involved in great matches with Cody, Sammy Guevara, Jon Moxley, and a host of others. Darby’s future in AEW is indeed bright.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman is better than you…and you know it. Cody’s former best friend is a fun take on the slick-talking heels of yesteryear. He’s known for constantly berating everyone he sees as beneath him and puts his bodyguard Wardlow to good use when the situation calls for it. MJF isn’t just all talk, however – he’s already shown how efficient he is in the ring, as evidenced by his heated Revolution 2020 match against Cody and his shockingly great bout with Jungle Boy at Double or Nothing 2020. MJF is as fun to listen to when he commands the mic as he is when he competes in the ring.
The bodybuilding behemoth known as Brian Cage may have just arrived in AEW, but he’s already made quite the impression on the viewing audience. During his time spent in PWG, Lucha Underground, and Impact Wrestling, Cage wowed fans with his mind-blowing feats of strength and usage of maneuvers that most big men never rely on. Since coming to AEW, he’s adopted Tazz as his manager and went on to showcase his devastating offense for the world to see. His grand debut at Double or Nothing 2020 was a sign of great things to come from AEW’s killing machine. Cage is going to be here for the long haul and accomplish some great things along the way. And you’d better make sure you don’t miss any of them.
If you watched TNA and WWE’s version of ECW back in the day, then you obviously have a clue who this rampaging giant is. Lance Archer moved onto Japan later on in his career and turned New Japan Pro Wrestling upside down alongside Davey Boy Smith Jr. and the rest of his Suzuki-gun stablemates. When Lance chose to go the singles route in the land of the rising sun, he found his calling as the next coming of Bruiser Brody. Now that he’s a part of the AEW roster, Lance has brought over his eye-popping brand of mayhem and anarchy to a new subset of wrestling fans. His strong work during the TNT Championship tournament and unmistakable chemistry with manager Jake “The Snake” Roberts is proof of Lance’s magnetic onscreen presence.
“The Man That Gravity Forgot” chose to leave his days as a lovable babyface behind during his final WWE run. Once he left Vince McMahon’s land of the titans, PAC took his talents back to Japan for Dragon Gate and competed for various indies along the way. When he decided to step into an AEW ring, PAC continued to show just how much of a mean of a bastard he could truly be. Watching him go full savage mode is always delightful – PAC brutalizes his opponents with stiff strikes, arm-tearing submissions, and match-ending top-rope splashes. PAC’s feud with Kenny Omega provided fans with some standout matches worth rewatching and he’s ready to give us even more. AEW’s resident bastard is money.
Wrestling’s modern-day Tarzan is a central member of AEW’s Jurassic Express, a three-man stable that also consists of Luchasaurus and Marko Stunt. Both of those men are indeed talented in their own right, but we’re here to showcase just how astounding Jungle Boy really is. The man is a young heartthrob, which has gone a long way towards solidifying him with the women that keep their eyes glued to the AEW product. Thankfully, Jungle Boy is also fun to watch whenever he puts on his working boots. He’s an agile athlete that can dive in and out of the ring, plus he can also deliver a mean lariat (don’t let his diminutive stature fool you into thinking he’s powerless). Oh and if you didn’t know, now you know – Jungle Boy’s real name is Jack Perry and he’s the son of 90210 star Luke Perry.
The Inner Circle’s “Spanish God” has quickly transformed into a marketable star right in front of our very eyes. Ever since he competed against Cody on the very first episode of Dynamite, Sammy Guevara has only gotten better in the ring and further developed his character work. Sammy’s brand of humor is a weekly highlight due to his commercial break cue card shtick and hilarious antics performed alongside Chris Jericho. He’s proven to be a high-flying highlight that will most certainly earn a championship in the near future. Seek out his action-packed sprint with Darby Allin at Revolution 2020 and prepare to be amazed.
“Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy is a phenomenon amongst hardcore wrestling fans. The man has managed to amass all types of love (and hate) due to his nonchalant attitude and sloth-like movement whenever he makes his way to the ring. But once he kicks things up a notch and actually cares enough to push it to the limit, he’s a joy to watch. Orange has shown that he can hang with the best of them, as evidenced by his bouts with foes such as PAC and Fenix. Once those hands go down into his pockets, Orange can whip the crowd into a frenzy. That’s no easy feat, but Orange is capable of doing it without breaking a sweat.
Pentagon Jr.’s real-life sibling Fenix is one of the greatest high-flyers in wrestling today. Fans are constantly amazed and shocked at the incredible maneuvers he pulls off and the insane risks he’s willing to take when the stakes are especially high. Fenix’s 2019 Dynamite bout against Nick Jackson is a must-watch for anyone who needs proof of his excellent skill set. AEW did the right thing when it gave Fenix the chance to join its ranks and present his jaw-dropping style of Lucha Libre to an appreciative wrestling audience. Anytime Fenix strolls to the ring, you can expect to enjoy every instance of what he’s about to pull off from the top rope.
If you followed Lucha Underground during its short yet wholly entertaining run, there’s one star that truly shined above the rest – Pentagon Jr. Pentagon increased his fanbase exponentially due to his vicious arm-breaking antics, amazing catchphrase, and ability to compete at the highest level of in-ring competition. After Lucha Underground met its unfortunate end, Pentagon appeared in other wrestling feds such as Impact Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, and other independent companies. Pentagon now wows the crowd at AEW shows and is still at the top of his game. Mr. “Cero Miedo” is a wildman who puts on amazing tag matches with his fellow Lucha Brother Fenix and can also be counted on to present great solo bouts with just about everyone.
“YOU KNOW IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BOOM! ADAM COLE BAY BAY!” AEW fans are always ready for storytime with Mr. Cole and are definitely in tune with his in-ring barnburners. The former king of NXT is doing great work in AEW as a legit solo superstar that has good matches with anyone and everyone. Cole has mixed it up in the ring with Jungle Boy, Christian Cage, Adam Page, and a host of other AEW wrestlers that have taken him to the limit. Cole’s entertaining promos and cocky demeanor make him one of those AEW talents you just love to hate.
One of AEW’s top Japanese exports is Hikaru Shida, a lovable member of the roster who can be trusted to have a good match with just about anyone she’s pitted against. Every time she enters the ring, she shows out and proves just how capable she is as a member of AEW’s women’s roster. Shida’s bloody Dynamite bout against Britt Baker and her hardcore brawl with Nyla Rose at Double or Nothing 2020 is proof of her squared circle expertise. Shida’s social media posts present her as a super likable and wholesome personality, which makes her even more of a star within AEW.
“The Native Beast” Nyla Rose is a major pillar of AEW’s women’s division. Her power-based offense and surprising agility have earned her accolades from regular viewers of Dynamite and AEW PPVs. She’s already made history as the first openly transgender wrestler to compete in a major wrestling company and capture that company’s women’s championship. Nyla has gone on to compete in great matches with Joshi greats such as Riho and Hikaru Shida, which have done a lot to improve her in-ring capabilities and get even more eyes on her work. Nyla has stepped into the role of AEW’s resident lady destroyer and has represented that position quite well.
Wrestling’s greatest dentist (sorry, Issac Yankem) plies her trade in All Elite Wrestling. During Britt Baker’s start within the company, she was presented as a white-meat babyface that didn’t garner a whole lot of fanfare. But once she flipped the switch and became a heel that positioned herself as a role model, she finally found her true calling and got fans to take notice of her. And it all started with that infamous promo with Tony Schiavone back on the Jericho Cruise. Since then, Britt has morphed into a magnetic personality and a solid in-ring competitor.
Since leaving WWE, Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood have found their calling once again as one of the best tag teams in wrestling today. Their throwback 80s approach to in-ring work provides a nice change of pace from the rest of the AEW roster and throws an interesting wrinkle into their hotly contested bouts. Their matches against Jurassic Express, The Young Bucks, and the Lucha Bros slapped tremendously. With Tully Blanchard by their side, FTR has quickly morphed into one of AEW’s most outstanding and equally feared tandems.
Tay Conti has to be one of the most improved wrestlers on the planet. She went from doing nothing of note during her NXT run to becoming one of the most well-polished athletes on the AEW roster. Tay exudes far more confidence and has become a slick in-ring technician that can go with the likes of the best lady wrestlers AEW has to offer. As a Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner, Tay has the toolset needed to set her apart from the rest of the pack and present her as a legitimate threat to any opponent.
Wardlow isn’t just your run-of-the-mill talentless bodyguard that most heels rely on. He’s an impressive big man that moves with the best of ’em in the ring and shockingly handles himself pretty well on the mic. After watching him put on some good matches with Cody Rhodes and Jake Hager, it’s become quite clear that the sky is the limit for Wardlow. The guy’s a walking wrecking ball and we’re always excited to see him brutalize the jobber of the week.
Her six-pack is next level. Her mic game is official. And her badassery seems to have attracted a substantial fanbase since her grand debut. Jade Cargill showed up to do work as Shaquille O’Neal’s mixed-tag team partner and left a great impression on everyone that watched her. After a series of quality follow-up matches, the AEW crowd has taken to her even more and made it quite evident that big things are definitely in her future. Simply put, Jade Cargill is money.
If you watched him during the modern-day rendition of the National Wrestling Alliance, then you knew just how great he could be. Once he delivered that awesome TNT Championship match with Cody Rhodes and got signed to an official contract shortly after, Ricky Starks’ NWA Powerrr supporters were vindicated. Ricky’s all about swag and crisp in-ring work. Plus he just so happens to have one of the best songs in the company. AEW’s “Stroke Daddy” is the perfect amalgamation of old and new school swagger.
AEW’s resident alien lady turned dark angel of justice is one of those fearsome women’s wrestlers who also definitely stands out from the pack. She’s delivered some worthwhile matches thus far on PPV (versus Britt Baker at All Out 2021 and versus Leyla Hirsch at Revolution 2022 are all worth checking out). Kris Statlander has a superstar aura about her and relies on a hard-hitting movelist that makes all her stuff look extra snug & painful in action. Her 450 Splash is simply incredible.
Eddie Kingston is a dirty brawler through and through. Whenever the bell rings, he goes into pitbull mode and runs wild on his latest victim with a combination of slaps, chops, and suplexes. His appreciation for golden age All Japan Pro Wrestling influences his “Strong Style” approach to in-ring combat. Kingston’s genuine passion and realness are always evident whenever he grabs the mic to talk some ish and gets in the ring to KO someone with his dreaded “Backfist to the Future.”