The Elite re-signed with AEW, but any speculation that they wouldn’t be presented as stars in WWE is off base.
There are several big stories in professional wrestling that fans are watching closely. One of those was built around whether The Elite would re-sign with All Elite Wrestling. News broke in August that they would return to the fold, re-signing multi-year contracts. Many debated whether the four friends would have “worked” if they were to sign with WWE. Without a shadow of a doubt, the answer would be “yes.” They may not have been the quad that fans were used to seeing in other companies, but The Elite would have been top-level acts in the WWE.
The first part of this conversation must address the obvious, the WWE has a negative record when it comes to booking stars from other companies. One of the worst examples on record is that of Shinsuke Nakamura. He was considered one of the best in the world, headlining some of the most important showcases in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Unfortunately, that would not be the case for Nakamura in WWE. Even after winning the Royal Rumble, he’d never reach the status that many expected and hoped to see.
WWE does focus on homegrown talent, centering the entire promotion around them. But there are examples of individuals that were booked as top stars after tenures in other organizations. AJ Styles, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho, he who should not be named, and most recently Cody Rhodes stand out as examples. But how would that relate to The Elite? This group of stars would be too hard for the company to ignore.
Each act within The Elite would add a key piece to the equation. First, there’s Page, an individual that could have an entire promotion built around him. At 32 years old, AEW initially set a course to make him their featured name, and his story in the years since the company’s launch remains one of the best to date. The Young Bucks would be an interesting addition to the tag team championship, shoe-ins for eventual title holders. But their value would perhaps best be seen behind the scenes, where they could offer valuable insight from a creative and educational position that would rival some of the best minds in the business. Then there’s Kenny Omega. Let the dream matches begin. Would WWE put him over Roman Reigns? Probably not. But he could be a viable candidate to defeat any other individual holding a championship. There would be no denying Omega as an eventual champion and along the way, fans would get Omega versus Finn Balor, Cody Rhodes, Seth Rollins, AJ Styles, Carmelo Hayes, and hopefully many others.
It would be interesting to see how the group would be booked, as each would have different “shelf lives” within the WWE. Omega and The Bucks would see much more shine early on, but Page would be best served as the long-term play. There are several stories to watch play out, but most of all, people would have their eyes on the promotion to see if WWE (especially Vince McMahon) would get out of its own way and book The Elite as the stars they are throughout professional wrestling.
Tribalism is a hilarious subculture within professional wrestling. While The Elite are a foundational part of AEW and will be for the duration, the idea that the four men who helped change wrestling would not be booked well in WWE is far from the reality of how things would go down.