WWE roster turnover is nothing new, but the rise of the international & independent scenes overall, and particularly the arrival of All Elite Wrestling to the stage, has changed things.
Announcements like the ones we got yesterday (Feb. 22) used to happen a couple times a year, as batches of talent were “future endeavored” in cost-cutting moves by WWE. Recently, releases have been fewer and farther between. When they come, they’re often expected for one reason or another. And there’s more speculation than there’s been in a long time about where where the talent will sign once they’re free of their non-compete clauses.
Most of that speculation centers on AEW, where the impression is the billionaire Khan family is spending freely to launch their new sports entertainment business. The focus is also on them because Cody Rhodes is not only set to be a star there, but he’s also a former WWE talent and an Executive Vice-President with a say in talent acquisitions for All Elite.
Though not an on-screen talent, Arn Anderson is someone who worked with Cody’s father Dusty and would bring a lot of knowledge to any wrestling promotion. The grandson of a plumber had this to say about Double-A after word got out he was no longer producing for WWE:
Love AA. I stole all of his catchphrases & use them on a daily basis. He went to bat for young talent & at the same time is essentially responsible for all of the current top guys & “golden circle”. He’s not corporate, but that’s a compliment. Can’t take wrestlers outta wrestling
— Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodes) February 22, 2019
Rhodes actually already commented on Ronnie “Tye Dillinger” Arneill when Dillinger shared publicly that he’d requested his release from WWE. He spoke in more detail about his friend and mentor while chatting with Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet:
“Tye Dillinger – I love him. I literally love the man because I went to OVW with about three months of experience, I was hired by WWE solely because I was Dusty’s kid, and he never scoffed at it. He became my tag team partner, taught me to wrestle… and he was just so good to me, and I’d love to offer him whatever resources I’ve obtained when I left and started my independent wrestling tour because I went to a lot of places.
So, I don’t think that’s a conversation about him coming to AEW that we need to have as much as the conversation is more about, I want him to be able to get out there and do his thing and fill his soul up. Any company, whether it’s New Japan Pro Wrestling or Ring of Honor or MLW or Evolve or whatever – there’s so many companies, Progress, there’s so many great companies – any company would benefit from having Tye Dillinger. But I don’t know what the hell you’d call him because his real name is terrible. But yeah, any company would benefit from having him. I’m happy he’s out there to be able to do his thing. Any company, including us, would benefit from that dude.”
So, it’s no surprise the comments were coming. What next? A tweet about TJP? Arn joining Billy Gunn backstage at All Elite? Gavin Spears in the Over Budget Battle Royal 2?
We shall see, but feel free to guess in the comments.