The future is always unpredictable in the world of professional wrestling. The popular phrase “never say never” is quite apt when it comes to it, because anything can happen anytime. Historically, we have seen Bret Hart, Ultimate Warrior and Goldberg make their WWE returns after leaving on a bitter note, Daniel Bryan return from a career-ending injury and become the WWE Champion and recently, with the formation of Ring of Pakistan, pro-wrestling shows being held in Pakistan for the first time (the second season is to be held today, December 9, in Lahore).
In the latest case of “we did not see that coming”, legendary wrestler Chris Jericho and former WWE star Cody Rhodes are reportedly launching a new wrestling promotion. While this should certainly be taken as a rumor for now, the buzz in the community is getting loud enough to warrant attention.
Brad Davis, writing for SEScoops.com, first reported how the groundwork for a new promotion were being laid by Chris and Cody, who are receiving financial backing by the Pakistani-American billionaire Khan family. The patriarch of the family, Shahid Khan, is the owner of automobile parts manufacturer Flex-N-Gate. He also owns NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham F.C. of the English Premiere League. His son, Tony Khan, is a huge wrestling fan and is reported be “hands-on” in getting the new promotion off the ground.
According to Jason Powell of Prowrestling.net, the promotion is said to be called All Elite Wrestling (AEW) based on the fact that a number of trademarks (AEW, AEW All Out, All Elite Wrestling, Tuesday Night Dynamite, AEW Double or Nothing) were filed last month.
Beside Chris and Cody spearheading the project, a number of A-list talents are involved in AEW, including former WWE commentator and Hall of Famer Jim Ross and arguably the most popular tag team in the world The Young Bucks, who are also at the front of the line in laying the groundwork. The future of current IWGP heavyweight champion Kenny Omega is uncertain yet. Meanwhile, Cody and his wife Brandi were recently seen in the owner’s box of the Jacksonville Jaguars at a recent NFL game.
Since the beginning of the millennium, WWE has been the top dog in the world of professional wrestling after it bought its rival promotions WCW and ECW in 2001. Even with the massive rise in popularity of New Japan Pro Wrestling (which currently is the world’s second biggest promotion), there has been no direct competition for WWE in terms of business. No promotion is likely to overtake the global conglomerate for the top spot anytime soon, but the formation of AEW is already turning heads.
With the Khan family’s support, it’s certain that the AEW will not be facing financial issues. But it’s too early to say anything as of yet. While everything should be taken with a pinch of salt as of yet, all signs hint at the formation of the new company. And with the involvement of the richest person of Pakistani origin (and the 221st wealthiest person in the world), it won’t be far-fetched to say we just might see the likes of Y2J, Cody, Omega and The Young Bucks wrestle on Pakistani ground too.