Surely there’s already been a hundred of these articles from the standpoint of fantasy booking All Elite Wrestling prior to their first event. I’m no different, really, I’ve had tons of ideas about wrestlers they should bring in and partnerships they should make, but lately my interests have turned more toward ideas about who would be the biggest long term assets for the promotion both in the ring and backstage. These people could certainly all contribute in the ring but their value goes far beyond ring work and could help AEW begin to develop their own stars and really excel for the long haul. Here are six of the best hires I could imagine for the new company.
Timothy Thatcher is a mainstay on the US and Euro indy circuit where’s he’s developed a good level of fame as Walter’s right hand man in Ringkampf. This is probably not fair to the longest reigning EVOLVE champ, but there’s no denying that his time in Ringkampf added a certain brutality he was maybe lacking to truly stand out before. With the rest of Ringkampf fleeing to NXT UK (and Alexander Wolfe absent from television but theoretically on the Smackdown roster), this is Thatcher’s year to truly shine.
Despite Walter’s impressive brutality and Axel Dieter’s smooth technical wizardry, Thatcher was probably the most complete wrestler of the group. With his diverse and technical style, the 35 year old Thatcher has plenty of good years ahead, but he’s also been heavily involved in the wXw training program and could be a great mentor to young wrestlers.
Long before she became known to the wider public in the first Mae Young Classic, Mercedes Martinez was choking out women from coast to coast in many promotions, becoming one of the most respected technical wrestlers in the business. Despite being 38, her relatively safe, submission heavy style means she might be extend her peak another decade and stay a force into her late 40s a la Minoru Suzuki. She is also highly respected as a trainer and personality and her skills outside the ring could lead her to excel in many aspects of the business.
Jimmy Jacobs’s best ring years are well behind him but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be a force in many areas. He was a respected creative in WWE and ROH, coming up with the List of Jericho and being the driving force behind the Lacey and Jimmy saga, arguably the best long term storyline in the history of ROH. The Zombie Princess has a great relationship with a lot of the locker room and could be a good leader to young wrestlers, having successfully navigated some tricky personal issues in his long career.
He can bump when needed but Jacobs would be a killer manager for a faction in AEW. He is also a well-respected booker, helping book both AAW and RISE, and a huge booster of women’s wrestling in general. He has so many skills that it seems silly not to just snatch him up and let him find a niche.
I have no idea what Ethan Page’s contract status with the perpetually cursed Impact Wrestling is, or if he is even available for television, but I feel he’s only just now hitting his peak despite memorable runs in EVOLVE and other indie promotions. He has massive charisma, is funny as hell, seems to be a positive force wherever he goes, and is in the best shape of his career. He’s probably never going to be in the title mix, but he’s a great midcard chase guy who the crowd will get behind. Page also is a respected booker, setting up the brilliant battle royal at All In and booking at the Canadian promotion Alpha-1. He’s only 29 and just now touching his full power, so if you locked him up to a long term deal you’d be getting the entire peak of his career.
Melissa Anderson’s career has been so long and significant, there’s no real way to quickly recap it. She has one of the longest Wikipedia articles of any current wrestler. She’s still near her peak and can do literally anything you could possibly imagine in a ring or storyline. It’s an absolute crime she’s not one of the most well-known women in wrestling history as only maybe a handful of wrestlers, and maybe no American ones can match her total résumé. She is the only person on this list and the only person in AEW other than Kenny Omega who can claim a #1 ranking in the PWI list. Only where she’s accomplished these feats have kept her from being a household name. AEW would change that. Anderson is additionally, like almost everyone else in this list, highly respected for her training and out-of-ring work. You could not have a better mentor for the young women of AEW.
Hallowicked (Robert Goodwin)
The turning point, in my opinion, in the long march toward WWE having quality matches again has been moving from the old regional development system to the Performance Center in Orlando and NXT. There’s been many people to thank for that, but the name you hear brought up the most is Sara Amato. Amato is now the assistant head coach at the PC, and the PC is informed largely by Chikara’s Wrestle Factory. You could pick any number of brilliant trainers from the Factory but the reason I pick Robert Goodwin, better known by his nom de guerre Hallowicked, is that he’s the best wrestler amongst them in 2019. He is still a devastating force in the ring and would be an extremely high value wrestler and someone who could help institute a development system on par with any promotion in the world.