Since the company’s inception, many wrestlers have taken on the role of top star in AEW, unlike WWE, who has had Roman Reigns as the top billed attraction since 2014. From Chris Jericho, to Cody Rhodes, to Jon Moxley to Kenny Omega, AEW has positioned several stars in the main event scene and given the fans a fresh coat of paint at times.
AEW Commentator Jim Ross spoke about AEWs talent pool and who he sees as the future of the company on the latest episode of the Grilling JR Podcast. Ross revealed several names he believes have the potential to be main event level talent in AEW for the next 2-5 years as leaders of the company.
“Based on aptitude and not eliminating anybody from the process, I could see Adam Cole certainly being one of those guys,” Ross said. “Smart kid, got a great mind for the business, and he’s young, he’s healthy. MJF without a doubt, he’s got a terrific wrestling mind and he knows how to be annoying. He’s very easy to dislike, which is the greatest trait a wrestling villain can have, so I have great confidence he’s going to be a star for years to come and a big one. I like Adam Page, he’s in the main event at the next pay-per-view and he’s got another opportunity to take a step up and survey all the landscape.
“I think ‘Jungle Boy’ Jack Perry is going to be one of our leaders, one of our stars of the future, our long-term future. Darby Allin is over, somehow some way, he’s a strange enigma just like Jeff Hardy was. The two fellows, Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page, both those guys got leadership written all over them. The good news is we have several guys that can ascend to that role because of their aptitude for pro wrestling and the fact that they feel so much a part of building this brand from the foundation up. I can tell you from experience, I would never have imagined in my mid-60s I would be working for a startup, and it’s been the best professional move I’ve made.”
Another part of AEW that is unlike WWE is the fact that several of the companies wrestlers have worked for other promotions while under contract with AEW. One of the most notable being former AEW World Champion Jon Moxley, who has worked for NJPW and GCW, against Nick Gage in a Death Match, while remaining with All Elite Wrestling. Ross gave his thoughts on AEW talent appearing in other companies, and revealed why he likes the idea.
“I think that’s good for them actually,” Ross said. “I wish more would do it because it helps their skill sets, refines their game. You can’t get better working one day a week unless you’re already there.”
After leaving the WWE in 2020, Miro has made a name for himself in AEW after a slow start with the company. The former TNT Champion recently broke his silence and spoke about losing the championship to Sammy Guevara on AEW Dynamite a few weeks back. Ross spoke about Miro and why he loves his character in AEW, and happy he’s found his place in the company after being miscast when he first debuted.
“I love Miro, he’s found who he is,” Ross said. “And he’s not doing silly s--t that they thought might work. We all thought it might work, but what he’s transformed to has been awesome. He’s got a theme, he’s got a beginning, middle, and an end to every promo. He doesn’t get out of his lane. He has his topic, he has his subject matter, and now he’s going to present it in some shape, form, or fashion. He’s smart enough to know when something works– just refine it, don’t go away from it.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.