AEW has certainly come a long way since its inception back in 2019. And really, it was already pretty big news back then as well. At the time that it started, the pro wrestling world was ready for a fresh new company to add to the industry and in fresh and exciting ways (something AEW certainly delivered on).
The changes that the company has undergone in its short but impressive history are indeed huge and the leaps and bounds forward have certainly been massive. Perhaps that’s best seen in the acquisitions made over just this past year.
Bryan Danielson, CM Punk and Adam Cole all three made their debuts in this year alone, and no matter what many on the internet have said about their respective runs in AEW so far, their involvement has been huge, as all three men are top stars and legends in the industry. The fact that they chose to wrestle for AEW speaks volumes for sure.
It was as he sat down with Sports Illustrated that he went into all of this.
“It’s based around a joint vision, and the vision that’s working doesn’t belong to any of us. The fans had a vision, too, once they started to invest in with Bullet Club, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and Ring of Honor, supporting the Bucks, myself, and Kenny. Tony was the only one to have the foresight to bring this all together, and we’re carrying on that vision. As a founding father or founding mother of AEW, you could walk at this point and still have a great story, a legacy. But everyone wants more.”via Sports Illustrated /Wrestling Inc (Transcription)
On just how promising the landscape of AEW is because of the work they’ve all collectively done, Cody said:
“We’re essentially at the three-year point of AEW, and our stability is the tell-tale sign that our vision was the proper vision…
We have such a stable company that Bryan Danielson decided to cross that line; that CM Punk decided to join after seven years away; that Adam Cole, who was being groomed to be a massive star in WWE, decided to cross the line. And that’s not a knock on them; it just shows that we have built a very stable infrastructure.”via Sports Illustrated /Wrestling Inc (Transcription)
After breaking away from WWE, Cody himself essentially opting to be released, refusing to take the pay cut offered to him by the company at the time, Rhodes worked the indies and he worked them hard, the experiences paving the way for his part in starting AEW alongside the Elite and Tony Khan—the other key players obviously the Young Bucks and of course Kenny Omega. Of cours, he obviously had quite the WWE career as well. That goes without saying, or rather should.
It’s been said before, but what they’ve done in such a short period of time is nothing short of amazing. Imagine what can be accomplished by the time that five year period of existence hits!