Backstage Report On How AEW Approaching WrestleMania Week Regarding Talent

While the story of WrestleMania weekend has remained the two nights of WrestleMania, the slew of independent shows surrounding the event have also gotten headlines, particularly the participation of WWE star Shayna Baszler at Josh Barnett's Bloodsport. Though the show will also feature AEW/Ring of Honor talent Johnny TV, Baszler's participation led to speculation that several independent promotions had been unable to secure AEW talent for shows, leading to them hoping to contact WWE for use of talent instead.


There is a reason for that. PWInsider Elite reports that AEW's philosophy regarding talents taking WrestleMania weekend bookings is that the promotion generally doesn't want talents wrestling that weekend unless it is for promotions AEW has a working relationship with. This includes Japanese promotions DDT Wrestling, Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling, and STARDOM, with talents such as Billie Starks, Bryan Keith, Willow Nightingale, and Mariah May all announced for shows under those banners that weekend.

Despite their stance, AEW is willing to make exceptions to the rule in certain cases, explaining why talents like Johnny TV can work Bloodsport, and other talents such as Jon Moxley have been able to work the show in the past. AEW also has no issues with talent making signing appearances during the weekend or appearing at the WrestleCon convention, which has become a WrestleMania weekend staple over the past several years.


As such, the number one destination for fans to see AEW talent wrestle WrestleMania weekend appears to be Ring of Honor's Supercard of Honor event. The Mania weekend tradition, which has continued ever since Tony Khan purchased ROH in 2022, will take place on April 4; the show is scheduled to feature Hikaru Shida challenging Athena for the ROH Women's World Championship, and Mark Briscoe facing Eddie Kingston for the Ring of Honor World Championship.