With decades of experience as an in-ring performer and backstage agent, Billy Gunn was brought in to All Elite Wrestling to serve as a producer. But could other big name former WWE stars also be joining him in AEW?
There's been rumors that the likes of Goldberg and Batista could pop up in AEW and Gunn responded to that speculation when he joined our WINCLY podcast, which took place before today's announcement that DX will be going into the 2019 WWE Hall of Fame class during WrestleMania 35 weekend..
"Name recognition and what they could bring to the company? Yes," Gunn replied when asked if he saw a place in AEW for those guys. "Do I feel we need to focus on them in mixing them in with our talent? No."
Gunn then compared what they could do with that the New Age Outlaws did in their final WWE run by helping to get over new talent within the tag division. Gunn says the Usos were "stuck" until the Outlaws put them over and the same was with, ironically, Cody and Goldust.
"Yes, they had all the talent and just needed a little shove," stated Gunn. "I'm not saying that we made them, but we helped them….I would think that would be the same for [Goldberg and Batista] if they were coming. I have no idea. I feel that they would need to know that. If they come here, you're here to help with our talent and not get yourselves over."
We're still a couple of months away from AEW's first official show and Gunn says the entire company is putting its efforts towards Double or Nothing.
"We're just focused on Double or Nothing and working our way towards that," said Gunn. "It's a startup company. We're brand new. It's a great time for wrestling fans and for us as a company. We've got some great things, some new things coming. It's gonna be exciting and it's gonna be an alternative to WWE programming.
"I wish I could tell you a whole lot of stuff that was going on. But unfortunately I don't even know that….It's coming along slowly, but it's coming along very good."
Gunn's youngest son, Austin, is also a professional wrestler and was a part of the Over Budget Battle Royal at All In. Gunn discussed if there has been talk of Austin joining AEW.
"He is not coming to AEW," Gunn revealed. H"e has some other stuff that he wants to do on his own. He has some stuff in the works – I don't think I'm allowed to say it just yet…But he's got some great stuff in the mix and is super-excited. He's gonna be a huge star. I love coaching him and he's got some great things coming up."
AEW recently announced that they will have a partnership with AAA in Mexico City and Gunn explained why this will be beneficial to the talent.
"I think it's a good thing that we get to intermingle some talent," stated Gunn. "There won't be a lot of discrepancies when they come and work and we won't have to jump through hoops.
"I think it's good because Triple A has some great talent there. I think that would be a good platform for some of younger talent that haven't had the opportunity to go outside the U.S. I think that only makes you better when you can work other talent and other styles. It's an awesome thing that we can use some of their talent, they can use some of ours, we can intermingle and bring them all together to make an awesome talent."
Outside of his work with AEW, Gunn will also be hosting a party the Friday before WrestleMania. He talked a bit about his "Badd A$$ Mania Party" and what fans can expect.
"We're doing a party. Bully Ray, the girls – Angelina [Love] and Velvet [Sky] are gonna be there. So it's like a reunion of The Beautiful People," stated Gunn. "...It's gonna be a lot of fun. That Legend's Bar is really cool. If nothing else, come hang out there. I don't drink or nothing, but I'll watch you drink. I've got no problem with that.
"But it's gonna be fun. Take some pictures. We've got all kinds of stuff. Q&A stuff going on most of the night…or until my old ass has to go to sleep."
Billy Gunn's "Badd A$$ Mania Party" in NYC goes down on Friday April 5th at Legend's Bar in Manhattan. Guests already announced to attend include Bully Ray, The Beautiful People (Velvet Sky and Angelina Love), "Cowboy" James Storm, former NXT Superstar Bull Dempsey and Austin Gunn.
Tickets are on-sale now and available here.
You can listen to Billy's full WINCLY interview in the embedded audio player below. In it he also discusses how the AEW era will be as good as The Attitude Era, blending in with AEW management, the different paths he and Road Dogg are on, focusing on young talent, Double or Nothing and more.