AEW has a bloated roster problem

All Elite Wrestling boasts a roster packed with the best performers in the business, but with limited TV time faces an issue with not enough time to go around.
Miro Jan.jpg
Miro Jan.jpg /

All Elite Wrestling has a stacked roster. From top to bottom, this group is perhaps the best singular combination of professional wrestlers. Fans get to watch dream matches or surprise contests each week. There’s a lot to appreciate within that. But this stacked roster is becoming an issue and it is one that stands the test of time in sports and entertainment.

AEW’s roster is becoming bloated. With five hours of television available, there isn’t enough time for everyone to get meaningful seconds to minutes in front of the camera. This isn’t a new conversation point, but it is one gaining more momentum in recent weeks.

Ethan Page quietly ended his time with AEW. Ricky Starks openly questions why he isn’t used on television. While some believe his comments were made in kayfabe, Konosuke Takeshita’s statement raises some concerns that should not be ignored. But the thoughts of this roster being too bloated don't end there.

Where do individuals like Miro fit in? Will Rush ever get a big run that fits within his range of talent? What about Dante Martin, someone that fans saw as a major prospect for the company? And you can’t forget about this deep women’s division that still struggles to get more than one booking on weekly shows. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered, and many of them are directly linked to how stacked this roster has quickly become.

When individuals like Will Ospreay, Kazuchika Okada, or Deonna Purrazzo become available, it makes sense to swoop in and make them a worthwhile offer. But what do you do with the spots that were taken that were preoccupied with other stars? Television time, customer attention, and money are all finite resources, and adding in other stars brings additional stress on those resources.

There’s no easy solution to this matter as well. AEW reportedly signed Kamille to a deal and Tony Khan has made it clear he plans on being highly active in free agency. With less time to go around, what does that mean for some of the performers on the roster that helped build AEW into what it is today? That’s the real question that not only AEW will have to answer, but the fans who support the promotion and those stars. This is the unfortunate aspect of business that hits sports entertainment the same way it hits professional sports teams.

AEW’s roster is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, there are top stars to put on some of the best matches in the business. On the other hand, names that helped solidify the promotion are pushed to the wayside. Without a clear answer ahead, it will be interesting to see how AEW deals with this issue.