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B/R Wrestling’s High 30 Biggest AEW Superstars Ever: Rating No. 21-30

B/R Wrestling’s Top 30 Greatest AEW Superstars Ever Rankings 0 of 32 Credit: All Elite Wrestling In 2019, Tony Khan, Cody Rhodes, The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega vowed to revolutionize the professional wrestling world with the creation of All Elite Wrestling. On Sunday, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, the company

B/R Wrestling’s High 30 Biggest AEW Superstars Ever: Rating No. 21-30

B/R Wrestling’s High 30 Biggest AEW Superstars Ever Rankings

0 of 32

    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    In 2019, Tony Khan, Cody Rhodes, The Younger Bucks and Kenny Omega vowed to revolutionize the skilled wrestling world with the creation of All Elite Wrestling.

    On Sunday, on the MGM Grand Backyard Enviornment in Las Vegas, the corporate celebrates 5 years with the pay-per-view that began all of it: Double or Nothing.

    Forward of the occasion, headlined by Anarchy within the Enviornment between Workforce AEW and The Elite, the B/R Wrestling writers have fun the primary half decade of the promotion with 30 biggest wrestlers in AEW historical past, all of whom are accountable for the unbelievable matches, intense rivalries and breathtaking moments which have outlined the corporate.

    Here’s a rundown of our panel of voters:

    Which rivals made up the highest 10, capping off the listing o probably the most important and influential wrestlers in AEW historical past?

    Discover out with the continuation of our countdown.

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1 of 32

    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    When compiling this listing of wrestlers, a number of parts have been considered.

    In-ring capability, mic expertise, drawing energy and total recognition have been all important components weighed by the panel. Most vital, although, was the historic significance these figures had on the historical past of the corporate.

    Did they contribute to establishing its id by means of matches, promos and different segments? Had been they a part of the material of AEW? How important have been they to the promotion away from the cameras?

    Their significance to the story of AEW by means of its first 5 years in the end decides who made the listing, who didn’t, and the place they appeared on it.

Honorable Point out

2 of 32

    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    Falling simply wanting the highest 30 have been:

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    40. Dustin Rhodes

    39. Saraya

    38. Santana and Ortiz

    37. Ruby Soho

    36. The Home of Black

    35. The Acclaimed

    34. Claudio Castagnoli

    33. Kris Statlander

    32. Ricky Starks

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    31. Wardlow

30. ‘Jungle Boy’ Jack Perry

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    Accomplishments: AEW world tag crew champion (with Luchasaurus), FTW champion

    As Jungle Boy, Jack Perry was a preferred babyface whose Jurassic Categorical partnership with Luchasaurus often had him within the hunt for the AEW World Tag Workforce Championship.

    One of many younger pillars of the corporate, round whom the way forward for the promotion can be constructed, he had different alternatives away from the tag division to show himself and excelled extra instances than not.

    A 2023 heel flip, although, introduced a facet of him followers had not seen. Dropping the “Jungle Boy” moniker and going by his beginning identify, he grew to become an entitled and self-serving villain who taunted his opponents each on and off display, together with a dig at prime star CM Punk through the All In pay-per-view that referenced a behind-the-scenes dialog the 2 had main into the present.

    PW Chronicle @_PWChronicle

    “Actual glass, go cry me a river.”

    Jack Perry sending pictures in the direction of CM Punk? 👀 #AEWAllIn🇬🇧

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    Perry’s backstage confrontation with Punk at Wembley Stadium on August 27, 2023 led to the latter’s departure from AEW and a suspension for the previous Jungle Boy plus questions as as to if he can be again in any respect.

    That query was answered when he returned at Dynasty as The Scapegoat and aligned himself with The Younger Bucks and Kazuchika Okada in The Elite.

    Viler than earlier than and with a higher-profile spot than he had beforehand, he’s in a spot creatively to have important influence on the way forward for AEW tv.

    That would imply a revisited countdown of the promotion’s all-time greats could effectively see him a lot additional up the listing.

29. Willow Nightingale

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    Accomplishments: TBS champion, Owen Hart Memorial Cup winner (2023)

    Willow Nightingale debuted within the spring of 2021 and wasted little time establishing herself as one of the beloved members of the ladies’s division.

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    Although there have been few plans for her at that time, she put the work in and earned herself a spot on the AEW roster.

    Inside two years, her infectious positivity and power-based transfer set gained the followers over and that connection earned her the belief of Tony Khan, resulting in a defining second on the July 15 episode of Collision the place she gained the Owen Hart Basis Girls’s Match.

    Unfinished enterprise with Mercedes Moné, and a victory over Julia Hart for the TBS Championship at Dynasty in April, has Nightingale able to obtain her biggest publicity so far.

    All Elite Wrestling @AEW

    Willow Nightingale and Mercedes Moné share their closing ideas earlier than signing on the dotted line and making their #AEWDoN match for the #TBS Championship official!

    Watch #AEWDynamite LIVE on TBS!@WillowWrestles | @MercedesVarnado

    A rematch with Moné, who she defeated to win the New Japan Robust Girls’s Championship, at Double or Nothing in Las Vegas would be the largest check of her profession.

    If the early work she has delivered thus far are any indication, the wide-smiling badass of the AEW ladies’s division is about to achieve a brand new stratosphere of stardom and that bodes effectively for an organization placing extra emphasis on its ladies’s roster.

28. Sammy Guevara

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    Accomplishments: TNT champion (3), interim TNT champion

    Controversy follows Sammy Guevara, as evidenced by a suspension levied on account of a match with Jeff Hardy through which he failed to stick to AEW’s concussion protocol, that has him sitting on the sidelines and questioning when he’ll once more have the chance to set foot contained in the squared circle.

    Regardless of the uncertainty presently surrounding him, there isn’t any doubt about his contributions to AEW.

    He competed within the firm’s first singles match, shedding to Kip Sabian on the Double or Nothing pre-show in 2019. He battled Cody Rhodes within the first match of the primary episode of Dynamite. He was the inaugural member of The Internal Circle and have become the primary three-time TNT champion.

    Add an “interim” runs into that, and he has extra reigns with the secondary title than another competitor in firm historical past.

    His penchant for death-defying stunts outlined his in-ring model, regardless of some questioning whether or not it was actually value risking all of it in weekly televised matches when he clearly had a protracted, vivid future forward of him.

    Fightful Wrestling @Fightful

    2 years in the past in the present day, Cody Rhodes had his closing match in AEW in opposition to Sammy Guevara

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    Bucking logic, although, he often threw warning to the wind in an try to wow followers.

    Not all the time a fan-favorite, whether or not babyface or heel, Guevara has embraced the hate and repeatedly proved he would cater to nobody whereas constructing his legacy as one of many pillars of AEW and one of many nice breakout stars of the corporate’s early years.

27. Adam Cole

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    Accomplishments: Owen Hart Memorial Cup (2022)

    Adam Cole’s affect on AEW tv is definitely higher than the No. 27 spot on the countdown.

    His debut at All Out in 2021 is likely one of the most unforgettable moments in AEW historical past whereas his prolonged storyline with MJF in the summertime and fall of 2023 managed to make a babyface out of probably the most hated man on the roster earlier than revealing that it was Cole who was the devilish manipulator all alongside.

    Darkish Puroresu Flowsion @PuroresuFlow

    2 years in the past in the present day. Adam Cole & Bryan Danielson made again to again debuts at AEW ALL OUT

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    All the time distinguished when on AEW tv, it’s his availability that has damage his capability to advance previous this spot on our countdown.

    Cole has suffered two main accidents, the primary of which threatened his profession.

    The previous Ring of Honor and NXT world champion suffered a pair of concussions in 2022 that referred to as into query whether or not he would ever be cleared to compete once more.

    In 2023, amid the most important push of his AEW profession and the most well liked story within the firm with MJF, he suffered a damaged ankle whereas leaping off the doorway ramp at Dynamite: Grand Slam.

    He was in the end revealed because the grand schemer, however the influence was not almost what it could have been had he nonetheless been on TV and competing each week because the villain hellbent on taking the AEW world title off his “buddy.”

    Barring any important setbacks, and any additional accidents, there may be nonetheless loads of time for Cole to ascertain himself as one of many biggest stars within the promotion’s historical past however the irritating roadblocks he has suffered on the journey there have stunted his elevation to that standing to date.

26. Thunder Rosa

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

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    Accomplishments: AEW ladies’s champion

    It’s straightforward to overlook how influential Thunder Rosa was to the ladies’s division previous to the again harm that put her out of motion for effectively over a yr.

    Arguably probably the most organically over girl on the roster, she exploded onto the scene in 2020 and, inside eight months, was embroiled in an intensely private rivalry with Britt Baker, which included the historic first ladies’s major occasion in Dynamite historical past on March 17, 2021.

    That Unsanctioned Lights Out match was brutal, violent and bloody, however past what occurred within the ring, it shattered the glass ceiling and proved ladies might thrive within the AEW highlight.

    B/R Wrestling @BRWrestling


    Britt Baker and Thunder Rosa popped OFF in the primary occasion of AEW Dynamite


    (by way of @AEW)

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    That match, and the next battles she had with Baker gave the ladies’s division a authentic rivalry it might construct round, whereas the hard-hitting gimmick matches erased any suggestion ladies couldn’t get brutal and violent on mainstream wrestling tv.

    On the March 16, 2022 episode of Dynamite, almost one yr to the day after their historic first major occasion, Rosa defeated Baker to win her first AEW Girls’s World Championship inside a metal cage and in entrance of her hometown followers in San Antonio, Texas.

    A again harm pressured her to the sidelines, that means she would by no means get to correctly defend the title, however a return to the squared circle in 2023 has some hoping she is going to discover her approach again to the gold and proceed what was shaping as much as be a probably defining run with the corporate.

25. Jamie Hayter

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    Accomplishments: AEW ladies’s champion

    The early portion of Jamie Hayter’s AEW run is one which was dotted with disappointment and defeat.

    The COVID-19 pandemic halted plans for her to be a participant within the ladies’s division before she was, whereas her eventual debut as a full-time wrestler in 2021 was met with high-profile losses. Regardless of these defeats, her in-ring capability and low-key charisma caught the eye of followers, who supported her increasingly with each passing look.

    An intense, aggressive employee, she was the right addition to Britt Baker’s act, an enforcer who would be sure The Good Physician remained within the winner’s column extra instances than not.

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    The summer time of 2022 noticed an explosion in recognition for Hayter, although, as she continued to show herself as a contender within the ladies’s division. A number of championship alternatives got here and went, all with the Brit struggling disappointing defeats, till an unlucky harm to Thunder Rosa created a chance for her to compete for gold yet another time at Full Gear.

    All Elite Wrestling @AEW

    “The Jamie Hayter Agenda is in full swing.”
    New #AEW Interim Girls’s World Champion @jmehytr and Dr. @realbrittbaker D.M.D. with some fiery post-match feedback, after Hayter’s epic victory at #AEWFullGear!

    Catch the #AEWFullGear replay proper right here:

    On that night time, Hayter defeated Toni Storm to win the interim AEW ladies’s title and firmly set up herself as the brand new face of the division. The reign can be formally acknowledged when Rosa gave up her title shortly thereafter.

    Sadly, harm lower Hayter’s personal run brief as she dropped the title to Storm at Double or Nothing in Might 2023 and has been inactive since.

    Nonetheless, her rise reminded Tony Khan of two vital issues: Regardless of his want to signal each main free agent potential, he had a wealth of expertise already on his roster simply ready for a chance to shine.

    Secondly, and extra importantly, it’s crucial to take heed to the viewers as a result of theycan dictate who the following huge factor will likely be and that was definitely the case with our No. 24 entrant.

24. PAC

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    Accomplishments: AEW All-Atlantic champion (inaugural), AEW world trios champion (with Lucha Bros)

    If it was not for the inconsistent appearances over the course of his 5 years in AEW, PAC would probably rank a lot increased on this listing.

    A significant free-agent signing made on the inception of AEW, The Bastard wasted little time establishing himself as one of many premiere rivals on the roster.

    A ruthless competitor who might brutalize opponents together with his submission transfer set as simply as he might wow followers together with his capability to contort his physique throughout an aerial assault, he blended it up with prime stars reminiscent of Kenny Omega, “Hangman” Adam Web page, The Younger Bucks and Orange Cassidy.

    B/R Wrestling @BRWrestling

    PAC took down Kenny Omega in his AEW debut 👏

    (Watch now on @brlive)

    He grew to become the inaugural All-Atlantic (now worldwide) champion at Forbidden Door 2002 with a win over Malakai Black, Clark Connors and Miro, and he teamed with Demise Triangle mates the Lucha Bros to win the trios titles.

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    He has repeatedly been put able to work with one of the best wrestlers within the firm and win championship gold, as a result of his work speaks for itself. He’s plausible, dependable between the ropes, and he can end up a show-stealing efficiency with any opponent.

    Look no additional than Revolution 2020 with Cassidy, which happened lengthy earlier than Freshly Squeezed grew to become the workhorse that he did later in his AEW run.

    PAC’s relevancy to the historical past of AEW, very like his standing as one of many world’s greatest skilled wrestlers, is probably going underrated, leading to his spot within the backside third of our countdown.

23. Brodie Lee

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    Accomplishments: TNT champion

    Brodie Lee arrived in AEW in 2020 with a objective: To show that he didn’t have to be a member of a household or a Bludgeon Brother to be a star in skilled wrestling.

    As “The Exalted One” of The Darkish Order, he wasted little time establishing himself as such.

    A giant, nasty, no-nonsense competitor with a devastating discus lariat, he unsuccessfully challenged Jon Moxley for the AEW World Championship at that yr’s Double or Nothing however made it clear he was a authentic contender for any of the corporate’s prime prizes.

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    In August, he decimated Cody Rhodes, squashing the EVP to seize the TNT title in one of the staggering and efficient one-sided beatdowns in AEW historical past.

    Lee and his Darkish Order minions would proceed to make life depressing for The American Nightmare, drawing a darker facet out of Rhodes earlier than their rivalry culminated in a Canine Collar match on the October 7 episode of Dynamite.

    It might be his closing match with AEW.

    Lee died in December 2020. The admiration his friends had for him was obvious on a particular tribute episode of Dynamite, through which his rivals and buddies spoke of the person and the legacy with everybody.

    All Elite Wrestling @AEW

    . @JonMoxley Tribute from the Brodie Lee Celebration of Life, 12/30/20#BrodieLeeForever

    Lee’s reminiscence lives on within the TNT Championship he held, and his spouse, Amanda, works in production for AEW and beforehand was an integral a part of the corporate’s group outreach initiative.

    His son, Brodie Jr., routinely appeared as a part of The Darkish Order as Unfavorable One, preserving his father’s identify alive throughout the faction he led.

    Tony Khan formally acknowledged Lee as the best TNT champion ever and every week, Dynamite opens with Excalibur saying, “it is Wednesday, what meaning” in one other tribute.

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22. Samoa Joe

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    Accomplishments: TNT champion (2), AEW world champion

    Amid the controversy surrounding CM Punk’s sacking from AEW, and important accidents suffered by Adam Cole and MJF that might place them on the sidelines within the winter of 2023, AEW brass badly wanted to carry stability to the primary occasion scene.

    It discovered that within the type of the grizzled veteran Samoa Joe.

    The celebrated in-ring competitor, who legitimized Ring of Honor and helped carry credibility to NXT beneath Triple H, defeated MJF to win the AEW world title and finish his year-long reign. From there, he grew to become an imposing, plausible champion who carried an organization that was in turmoil from a star-power perspective.

    All Elite Wrestling @AEW

    Regardless of how exhausting Samoa Joe throws HOOK round, he simply retains coming again!

    Watch #AEWDynamite LIVE on TBS!@SamoaJoe | @730HOOK

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    Alongside the way in which, he elevated Swerve Strickland and put him over at Dynasty in April 2024, dropping the title to him and creating a brand new major occasion star.

    Earlier than that, Joe had his justifiable share of success, successful the TNT Championship on two totally different events and bettering that title, too.

    The unstoppable drive has positively influenced each promotion he has labored for and it’s no shock that the B/R panel acknowledged his significance to AEW since his debut in 2022 and ensured his spot on this countdown.

21. Eddie Kingston

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    Accomplishments: AEW continental champion

    There isn’t a AEW star extra organically common and genuinely beloved by followers than Eddie Kingston.

    An “each man” in the identical vein as Mick Foley or Terry Funk earlier than him, he fights with objective and dedication. Whether or not it was for a job and his future in skilled wrestling in opposition to Cody Rhodes in a TNT Championship Open Problem match, or for the AEW title in opposition to buddy Jon Moxley, he does so with uncooked emotion that makes it nearly inconceivable for followers to not join indirectly with him.

    An underdog who has had his worth and legitimacy referred to as into query by extra celebrated, conventional wrestlers like Claudio Castagnoli and Bryan Danielson, Kingston has by no means shied away from proving himself in opposition to these athletes, typically even beating them at their very own video games.

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    Peps #MaikaStyle🍧 @Peps_Wrestling

    Eddie Kingston’s AEW debut, promo and match in opposition to Cody is particular.

    Not solely as a result of it is among the best promos in AEW historical past but in addition as a result of it revived Eddie’s profession.

    He’s the embodiment of the fighter mentality that AEW has adopted from the get-go in its pursuit of wrestling excellence.

    Nonetheless a fan who watches as a lot wrestling as he can, he’s a consultant for any followers who really feel undervalued and missed.

    His victory over Danielson to change into the primary AEW continental champion in March was one of many nice moments in firm historical past because it mirrored an underdog overcoming his doubters, reaching a aim and proving that tough work and dedication do repay.

    The emotion on show there, and when a bloodied Kingston carried a fuel can to the ring and woozily dared Danielson to carry the battle, has helped Kingston go away a mark in AEW.

20. Swerve Strickland

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    Accomplishments: AEW world champion, AEW world tag crew champion

    Swerve Strickland took a difficult path to the highest of AEW.

    He signed contemporary off a stunning launch from WWE in 2021 and struggled to seek out his footing early on earlier than linking up with Keith Lee and successful the corporate’s world tag crew titles. An eventual breakup of that union left him considerably directionless whereas Khan and the inventive crew sought a path for him.

    Mogul Industries by no means actually materialized the way in which it was supposed to, however a partnership with Prince Nana and the formation of Mogul Empire allowed Strickland to construct momentum.

    Nana’s dancing to his theme, “Massive Strain,” was considerably extra vital than anybody might have imagined by way of serving to Strickland to ring a bell with followers on one other degree past what his dynamic in-ring model already did.

    It was his feud with Hangman Web page and the depths to which they’d go to punish one another over the span of a handful of matches, most notably the Texas deathmatch at Full Gear in November 2023, that catapulted Strickland into the world title dialog and gave him the upward momentum he had been lacking.

    Present-stealing battles with one of many faces of the corporate didn’t damage.

    That momentum in the end paid off in April at Dynasty, the place he defeated Samoa Joe to win the AEW world title, making historical past within the course of as the primary Black man to seize the highest prize within the firm.

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    All Elite Wrestling @AEW

    HE DID IT!
    Swerve Strickland is the NEW #AEW World Champion!

    Order #AEWDynasty on PPV proper now!
    🌐: | @swerveconfident

    Like Jamie Hayter, Strickland got here from nowhere to change into a breakout star who followers threw their assist behind. They demanded he get the push that had eluded him and, inside months, had voiced their assist to him in such a way that Khan and Co. had no alternative however to push him and provides him the world title.

    Although he was a free-agent signing, Strickland grew to become the star he’s in the present day in AEW and his ascension felt like an natural rise for one of many vivid younger rivals within the firm at a time when it felt like administration could have been leaning a bit too closely on buying new expertise and leaning on the identical handful of stars.

19. Lucha Bros

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    Accomplishments: AEW worldwide champion (Rey Fenix), AEW world tag crew champions, AEW world trios champions (with Pac)

    Rey Fenix and Penta El Zero Miedo are AEW originals. They signed with the corporate previous to its launch in Might 2019 and instantly established themselves as among the best tag groups in wrestling, thanks largely to a feud with The Younger Bucks.

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    A ladder match for the AAA tag crew titles wowed followers contained in the MGM Grand Backyard Enviornment in Vegas on the inaugural Double or Nothing whereas a metal cage match two years later at All In noticed them lastly defeat Matt and Nick Jackson to take dwelling the AEW World Tag Workforce Championship.

    B/R Wrestling @BRWrestling

    Lucha Bros doing what they do greatest 😤#AEWFullGear

    (Watch NOW on @brlive)

    All the time within the hunt as a tag crew, additionally they proved formidable in trios competitors, teaming with PAC as Demise Triangle and defeating Kenny Omega and the Bucks to win the AEW world trios titles.

    Penta and Fenix have proved to be very good particular person rivals, too, with the latter even putting gold as AEW worldwide champion. Penta, in the meantime, has not hesitated to go hardcore, throwing all warning to the wind and bleeding for his artwork.

    Whereas the crew has not been as prominently featured on AEW tv of late, because of a slew of accidents, the influence the tandem had on AEW threw its first handful of years is indeniable.

    They helped set up the in-ring model, introduced credibility to the tag crew division and gave the Bucks one in all their greatest rivalries so far.

    It doesn’t matter what occurs from right here, the luchadors are merely constructing on their elite legacy.

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18. Jade Cargill

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    CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 26: Jade Cargill is introduced during the AEW Dynamite - Beach Break taping on January 26, 2022, at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Photos

    Accomplishments: TBS champion

    Jade Cargill could also be tearing it up within the rings of WWE now, however the phenom obtained her begin in AEW, the place she exploded onto the scene in a high-profile tag crew match that pitted her and NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal in opposition to Cody Rhodes and Pink Velvet.

    It was obvious that whereas she wanted some steerage between the ropes, she checked each different field when it got here to potential box-office attraction. She was a superhero come to life.

    The previous collegiate basketball star was found by WWE Corridor of Famer Mark Henry, and she or he went on a tear in AEW, turning into the inaugural TBS champion and holding the title for 508 days. It stays the longest championship reign of any in AEW historical past thus far.

    All Elite Wrestling @AEW

    From 12 ladies all the way down to 1 winner – @Jade_cargill is your first TBS Champion right here on this historic night time!#AEWDynamite is LIVE on @TBSNetwork proper now!

    Cargill primarily realized on the job, competing with the likes of Tay Conti, Nyla Rose, Willow Nightingale, The Bunny, Leila Gray and Velvet.

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    By no means probably the most polished wrestler on the roster because of her inexperience, she made up for it with unbridled confidence in her promos and a pure charisma in entrance of the digital camera that made her fascinating.

    She in the end dropped the TBS Championship to a returning Kris Statlander at Double or Nothing 2023 and wrestled her final match for AEW in opposition to her that September.

    Cargill was the primary actual home-grown performer in firm historical past. She was found, introduced like a star and given a chance to ascertain her on-screen presence. That she by no means had the chance to develop her in-ring recreation in a measurable approach damage her improvement, and the corporate was most likely not outfitted on the time to commit to getting her prepared in a approach that WWE was when she signed with them in late 2023.

    Nonetheless, AEW gave Cargill a platform and she or he thrived, establishing herself on a worldwide telecast and legitimizing the TBS Championship from its infancy.

17. FTR

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    Accomplishments: AEW world tag crew champions (2)

    The perfect tag crew in skilled wrestling, bar none, made their AEW debut on Might 27, 2020 and shortly made historical past, turning into the primary crew to carry world tag crew titles in each their new promotion and their outdated one, WWE.

    It was the primary of two reigns as champions in a four-year span that noticed them mix old-school psychology and physicality with the drama and lightning tempo of contemporary in-ring work, making them interesting to totally different audiences.

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    Regardless of repeated makes an attempt to show them heel, FTR grew to become one of the over tandems in wrestling, because of the appreciation followers had for his or her dedication to their craft, which was on full show in opposition to The Younger Bucks, Finest Associates, Jurassic Categorical, The Briscoes, SCU, Sting and Darby Allin, United Empire and The Gunns, amongst numerous different groups.

    Harking back to The Midnight Categorical, Harwood and Wheeler countered the uncooked athleticism of their opponents with a smashmouth strategy that earned them their justifiable share of victories.

    Even in defeat, their excellence has been simple, with many a present stolen by the seven-star tag crew.

    All Elite Wrestling @AEW

    The Residing Legends, FTR, need to silence Matthew and Nicholas Jackson and change into THREE TIME #AEW World Tag Workforce Champions within the course of!@daxftr | @cashwheelerFTR

    Order #AEWDynasty on PPV proper now!

    Their battles with the Bucks, particularly, cemented their standing as prime guys in AEW. Prompt classics, reminiscent of a Collision showdown with Jay White and Juice Robinson, saved them in that spot.

    There have all the time been questions on how prepared the inventive forces in AEW are to e-book Harwood and Wheeler to lose, particularly in opposition to the Bucks and through their current battles with The Blackpool Fight Membership, however the power of their efficiency retains them over in a approach others wouldn’t be in beneath comparable circumstances.

    Different groups on the roster could consult with themselves as one of the best within the enterprise, however FTR backs it up each time they hit the ring, with matches which are inherently totally different than those that preceded it.

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    In an organization usually outlined by a breakneck tempo and a willingness to take increased dangers than typically vital, FTR repeatedly brings to AEW a methodical strategy to the in-ring recreation that units them other than the remainder of the roster.

16. Christian Cage

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    Accomplishments: TNT champion (2)

    It was a decade in the past when it appeared like Christian Cage would by no means compete inside a squared circle once more.

    Ravaged by concussions that threatened his long-term well-being, he stepped away from the business he helped revolutionize by the use of the long-lasting Tables, Ladders, and Chairs matches, and into the uncertainty of early retirement.

    Then, in 2021, upon medical clearance and together with his contract with WWE expired, he signed with AEW.

    All he has accomplished since is develop one of the best heel persona within the business because the chief of The Patriarchy and seize the TNT Championship on two totally different events, all whereas reducing one of the best promos of his profession and having bangers with the likes of Jack Perry, Wardlow, Darby Allin and Sting, Daniel Garcia and longtime buddy and associate, Adam Copeland.

    He has accomplished so whereas surrounding himself with Killswitch (previously Luchasaurus) and the mother-son combo of Shayna and Nick Wayne.

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    The feel and appear of the group has solely served to raise Cage’s stature as he’s the clear centerpiece of it and a authentic contender to any championship in AEW.

    All Elite Wrestling. @ActualAEW

    How far will Christian Cage go to ensure the #TNT Championship stays with The Patriarchy?

    Order #AEWRevolution on PPV proper now!

    @NotForThePeeps/@EyesBeenClosed/@SwitchEngaged/@PrayToBeLegend | @SilencedRoaring

    Previous to the heel flip, he headlined All Out 2021 in opposition to Kenny Omega in a match that was glorious however overshadowed by the debuts of Adam Cole and Bryan Danielson instantly afterward.

    An ideal, cowardly heel who’s unafraid to get actual warmth by infuriating crowds with uncomfortable digs at their favourite wrestlers, he has introduced a wealth of information to the AEW locker room and reinvented himself in entrance of the digital camera, offering the corporate with a authentic star they’ll e-book tales and feuds round.

    And there aren’t any indicators of him slowing down, both.

    Finally, his legacy in AEW will likely be outlined by his heel persona and the way these younger stars he has labored with benefited from sharing the ring with him.

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15. Hikaru Shida

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    Accomplishments: AEW ladies’s world champion (3)

    There will not be one other star in AEW’s temporary historical past extra underrated than Hikaru Shida, which is sort of the assertion contemplating her three ladies’s titles.

    One of many consummate in-ring performers within the ladies’s division, she is accountable for excellent matches with everybody from Nyla Rose to Britt Baker, Toni Storm to Thunder Rosa.

    For no matter motive, and regardless of the fanbase recognizing how nice she is, Shida not often garners the identical consideration as a few of her counterparts.

    All she has accomplished is tie the file for many reigns as champion and introduced credibility to the division together with her persistently sturdy work between the ropes.

    All Elite Wrestling @AEW

    Instructor vs. Scholar
    There may be a whole lot of historical past between the #AEW Girls’s World Champion Hikaru Shida & her opponent Emi Sakura!

    Watch #AEWDynamite LIVE on TBS!@shidahikaru | @EmiSakura_gtmv

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    A bodily, hard-hitting competitor, she ups the depth of her matches. Her contests look totally different than these elsewhere within the division, the product of a veteran competitor who is aware of learn how to lay her strikes in more durable, inform a extra full story and even unleash her trusty kendo stick when the time requires it.

    Her work within the division helped lay the groundwork for what we see in the present day, with extra matches and promo time being provided to ladies in high-profile feuds. With out her carrying the ball, there’s a actual argument to be made that the state of girls’s wrestling in AEW can be considerably worse off.

    It might have been good for her to profit from the publicity that the ladies are getting on Dynamite, Collision and Rampage now, however there may be nonetheless loads of time for her to leap again into the combination, chase a history-making fourth title reign and additional solidify herself as one of many foundational items of the ladies’s division in AEW.

14. ‘Timeless’ Toni Storm

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    Accomplishments: AEW ladies’s world champion (3)

    It’s troublesome to think about one other performer in AEW who has recreated themselves to the extent Toni Storm has.

    Exploding onto the scene contemporary off her launch from WWE, she struggled to recover from within the rock-and-roll gimmick she had had courting again to her days within the independents.

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    Her ring work was nice, and administration trusted her sufficient to e-book her to win the ladies’s title on two separate events, however the followers didn’t absolutely purchase into her on-screen persona.

    Upon the tip of her second title reign, she underwent an entire character overhaul, apparently descending into insanity as she grew to become a throwback to basic Hollywood actresses reminiscent of Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and Rita Hayworth.

    Engulfed in black and white, with a hairdo proper out of a Marilyn Monroe film, she spoke as they spoke and overacted in almost each situation.

    The end result? An indisputably over character that linked with followers as a result of it was so contemporary and in contrast to something that they had seen. She had taken a large threat and tried one thing totally different and hit paydirt.

    Her shtick popped the followers, to not point out her co-stars, almost making the all the time skilled Renee Paquette break in a single notorious promo phase.

    TCM @tcm

    . @AEWonTV‘s Girls’s World Champion and TCM’s favourite Wrestler “Timeless” Toni Storm offers us her ✨ timeless ✨ ideas on just a few subjects we all know too effectively…

    The character grew to become so over that there was no alternative however to provide her one other run with the ladies’s title, a run that continues in the present day as Storm continues to evolve whereas flanked by butler Luther and mega-fan Mariah Might, who will nearly definitely change into her biggest opponent if wrestling historical past is any indication.

    A performer who has been tapped for superstardom since she first appeared within the Mae Younger Basic on the infancy of her WWE run, she has lastly begun to realize it in probably the most off-the-wall, enjoyable, and fascinating approach.

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    Within the course of, she has laid the groundwork for others round her to assume exterior the field, embrace the unique, and reap the rewards.

13. CM Punk

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    Accomplishments: AEW world champion (2)

    There will likely be those that leap by means of hoops to argue CM Punk was a higher detriment to AEW than something, and no argument goes to vary their minds.

    For everybody else, there may be one certainty in AEW historical past: Punk is the only largest, most profitable and vital free-agent signing within the firm’s historical past, and it is not even remotely shut.

    His return to skilled wrestling after eight years away drew a sell-out crowd to Chicago’s United Middle and 1.129 million viewers to the August 20 episode of Rampage. Double or Nothing 2022 grew to become the primary million-dollar gate within the historical past of the corporate, thanks largely to The Straight Edge Famous person’s presence.

    Omer Q 🍉 @RealOmerQ

    To at the present time, CM Punk’s return on the First Dance is likely one of the biggest moments within the historical past of pro-wrestling.

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    That success would proceed, with 4 consecutive pay-per-views drawing comparable gates and the September 21 episode of Dynamite: Grand Slam at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York additionally surpassing $1 million.

    Punk grew to become the centerpiece attraction for AEW, a man who followers went out of their strategy to see.

    Throughout his first few months with the corporate, he labored with younger stars, together with Powerhouse Hobbs, Darby Allin, Daniel Garcia, Lee Moriarty, FTR, Max Caster and John Silver. His overarching feuds with Eddie Kingston, MJF and Web page took on higher magnitude and have been must-see, because of his capability to chop promos and hype these culminating matches up.

    Accidents prevented him from occurring a long term as AEW world champion when he defeated Web page for the title at Double or Nothing, however he bounced again and defeated Jon Moxley in the primary occasion of All Out 2022 to regain the title.

    His legacy in AEW will likely be tied to a media scrum through which he unleashed a curse-filled rant on the backstage atmosphere within the firm and beef with sure EVPs, all of which might have been averted had the problems with the events in query been addressed previously.

    A brawl ensued backstage and as an alternative of these animosities therapeutic by the use of constructive dialog, Punk and the EVPs remained at odds.

    The Chicago native returned to the corporate amid the creation of a 3rd AEW tv property, Collision, a star automobile for him. Backstage conditions once more reared their head in entrance of the cameras, resulting in the confrontation with Jack Perry backstage at All In at Wembley Stadium in August 2023 that resulted in his termination from the corporate.

    There was loads of controversy to sink one’s enamel into or level to as proof that Punk was dangerous for AEW, however it could be silly to disregard simply how a lot he helped develop the corporate’s enterprise.

    Extra viewers, greater homes, hotter major occasions, and additional proof {that a} man who had all the time succeeded due to his connection to the viewers nonetheless had the juice to be a prime man in an business some believed had handed him by.

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    That he ranks at thirteenth is debatable, at greatest.

12. Darby Allin

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    Accomplishments: TNT champion (2), AEW world tag crew champion (with Sting)

    Darby Allin has made a reputation for himself all through his AEW tenure because the competitor most definitely to threat his personal well-being in an try to vanquish the opposition.

    Whether or not he’s hurling himself excessive rope and somersaulting onto his rival or launching himself off a ladder and onto a pane of glass, few can lay declare to the variety of jaw-dropping moments that the face-painted antihero of AEW can.

    All Elite Wrestling @AEW

    Darby Allin goes by means of the glass!

    Order #AEWRevolution on PPV proper now!
    🌐: | @DarbyAllin | @youngbucks

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    Allin is way from a stuntman, although.

    The Washingtonian has gained a few of his most unforgettable matches by out-wrestling his opponent, together with a signature win over Cody Rhodes on the 2020 Full Gear pay-per-view, the place he captured his first of two TNT titles.

    As a lot as he completed alone, it’s irresponsible to debate Allin and never point out Sting. Following The Icon’s debut in December 2020, they grew to become linked. The previous WCW and TNA world champion took the younger star beneath his wing, they usually went on a run within the firm that might see them spend simply over three years undefeated as a tag crew.

    With each outing, Allin’s star burned slightly brighter and on the February 7 episode of Dynamite, the pairing captured the world tag titles. Weeks later at Revolution, he ensured his hero and mentor would go away on a contented notice, throwing warning to the wind because the duo outlasted The Younger Bucks within the night time’s major occasion.

    There may be motive to be involved that what Allin is as a performer now isn’t sustainable, that he won’t bodily have the ability to proceed to deal with his physique the way in which he does and have a future within the business. With that mentioned, it’s the model that has outlined him thus far and helped make him one of many first true breakout stars in AEW.

    Altering it now betrays what the viewers latched on to and dangers disenfranchising them, so count on Allin to proceed to enthrall with bodily feats most would by no means be prepared to attempt, all whereas pursuing a profession that places him among the many greatest to do it in an AEW ring.

11. Orange Cassidy

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    Accomplishments: AEW worldwide champion (2)

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    On the floor, Orange Cassidy is a comedy wrestler with an apparel straight out of Moist Scorching American Summer time, a demeanor that spits within the face of significant skilled wrestling and a personality that may by no means recover from with the followers.

    Beneath that, although, is a wrestler who has spent the final 5 years proving doubters unsuitable with a resume of contests higher than anticipated.

    Freshly Squeezed shook the “comedy” label early on in an exceptional match in opposition to PAC at Revolution 2020. If that didn’t silence the critics, different sturdy outings in opposition to the likes of Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega ought to have.

    Then there was the long term as worldwide champion in 2023 that noticed him wrestle on a near-weekly foundation, in opposition to any and all challengers, permitting him to indicate off his evolving in-ring recreation. He bought effectively, too, placing over the extreme toll the matches took on him.

    It was the feud with Jon Moxley that actually put him excessive as a authentic star for the corporate, although.

    FAR @FAR5222

    Orange Cassidy is that belt like how Gollum was looking at that ring. Orange Cassidy is about to go down a darkish path. He nearly ignored his buddies. #AEWDynamite #AEWTitleTuesday

    At All Out in September 2023, he bled buckets whereas shedding his title to Moxley. The defeat solely additional legitimized him within the eyes of the followers, although, in order that his eventual victory over the Demise Rider would in the end imply extra.

    It did, too.

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    Cassidy entered the promotion with a personality that he had fine-tuned on the independents, the slacker of all slackers; a wrestler who couldn’t be bothered by the overly aggressive nature of his friends or the utter seriousness of all of it.

    He was himself and that separated him from a roster filled with targeted, intense and typically prototypical wrestlers. With out it, he could by no means have achieved the extent of success that he has all through his AEW run.

10. Sting

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    Accomplishments: AEW world tag crew champion (with Darby Allin)

    The arrival of Sting on the December 2, 2020 Winter is Coming episode of Dynamite was a watershed second for AEW as an organization getting ready to turning into the primary actual competitors to WWE in 20 years.

    One of many largest stars within the business’s lengthy historical past and a kind of uncommon performers to earn the “icon” label, he instantaneously legitimized AEW as a vacation spot for free-agent stars.

    In return, the corporate provided the previous WCW world champion a shot at going out on his personal phrases after he was pressured into untimely retirement as a consequence of a neck harm suffered throughout his temporary run in WWE.

    All Elite Wrestling @AEW

    Relive Sting’s #AEW debut on December 2nd, 2020, forward of his return to @Dailysplace TOMORROW at #AEWDynamite Homecoming!

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    Sting would crew with Darby Allin nearly solely all through his run, accumulating an unbeaten file whereas mentoring the youthful, face-painted enigma. Collectively, they battled and defeated prime tag groups reminiscent of FTR, whom they vanquished on the inaugural Dynamite: Grand Slam in September 2021.

    The veteran’s star energy elevated no matter he was concerned in whereas concurrently spotlighting one of many 4 younger pillars of the corporate in Allin. His presence alone elevated the stature of AEW throughout the business.

    In October 2023, having contributed all that he might bodily at 64, he introduced his impending retirement on the following March’s Revolution pay-per-view. Alongside the way in which, he and Allin earned their first and solely tag crew title with a win over Massive Invoice and Ricky Starks.

    In his closing match, Sting turned again the clock one final time, delivering an exceptional efficiency through which he and his associate efficiently defended in opposition to The Younger Bucks in an awe-inspiring battle of attrition.

    Sting, as he did together with his unforgettable debut, supplied AEW a defining second together with his emotional retirement on the Greensboro Coliseum, dwelling to so lots of his legendary battles with Ric Aptitude, Terry Funk, Lex Luger and others throughout his time because the franchise star of WCW.

    A locker room chief for whom everybody behind the scenes had the utmost respect, he went out as a winner and what he had lengthy been touted: The Icon.

9. Cody Rhodes

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    CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 26: Cody Rhodes is introduced during AEW Dynamite on January 26, 2022, at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Photos

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    Accomplishments: Co-founder of AEW, TNT champion (3; inaugural)

    Tribalism is humorous as a result of it usually leads to narratives spun to replicate any group’s agenda. Take the assertion that Cody Rhodes’ influence on AEW was by no means what it was made out to be.

    The identical Rhodes who guess Wrestling Observer Publication creator Dave Meltzer that he, The Younger Bucks and Kenny Omega might self-finance a serious indie present and promote out 10,000 seats for All In, an occasion that might function the unofficial jumping-off level for AEW.

    Historical past tells us they did simply that, with Rhodes’ confidence within the fan fervor surrounding him and his buddies fueling his choice to accept the wager.

    From there, he was one of many co-founders and EVPs of AEW, the face of its main media push forward of the inaugural Double or Nothing in 2019, and the centerpiece of one of many present’s largest drawing factors: an emotional showdown together with his brother, Dustin.

    Professional Wrestling Feed @prowrestlefeed

    When Cody Rhodes destroyed Triple H’s throne at AEW Double Or Nothing.

    Rhodes was additionally instrumental in growing three of the 4 pillars of AEW.

    On the debut episode of Dynamite, he squared off with Sammy Guevara in a match that spotlighted The Spanish God. He engaged MJF in one of the emotional rivalries in AEW historical past and feuded with Darby Allin over the TNT Championship, ultimately dropping the title to him at Full Gear in 2020.

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    There was the rivalry with Brodie Lee that heightened consciousness for the gifted huge man and resulted in some unforgettable battles, together with a brutal and bloody Canine Collar match.

    Away from the present, he was the face of AEW, showing on each potential platform in an try to attract consideration to a product he was intensely pleased with. Maybe that’s the reason some nonetheless wrestle to come back to phrases together with his departure in 2022 and return to WWE.

    We could by no means know what in the end pressured Rhodes again to probably the most distinguished promotion within the business, however his choice to return mustn’t cloud anybody’s perspective with regards to his significance to the historical past of AEW.

    He has by no means uttered a foul phrase in regards to the firm or these he got here along with to create it and it’s unlikely he ever will, because of the delight he nonetheless feels for having modified the wrestling world by making a authentic different.

    The B/R Wrestling crew has used a good voting scheme on our rundown, however there may be an argument to be made that Rhodes is ranked approach too low, even at No. 9.

8. Britt Baker

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    CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 26: Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. addresses the crowd during AEW Dynamite - Beach Break on January 26, 2022, at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Photos

    Accomplishments: AEW ladies’s world champion; Girls’s Owen Hart Cup

    From day one, it was obvious that Tony Khan and Co. noticed one thing in Britt Baker that advised them she was the face of the AEW ladies’s division for the foreseeable future.

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    Confronted with the immense strain that such a label carries with it, to not point out working her personal dentistry workplace, Baker thrived and have become one of many largest and most over stars on the roster.

    There have been bumps within the highway, together with a failed babyface run and a Tooth and Nail match in opposition to Massive Swole at All Out 2020, rating as one of many worst concepts and executions in AEW historical past.

    As soon as she found her confidence as a heel, although, she grew to become one of many present’s centerpieces.

    Her feud with Thunder Rosa, culminating of their notorious Lights Out Unsanctioned match, put her on the map whereas sturdy performances in opposition to the likes of Hikaru Shida, Ruby Soho, Tay Conti and a partnership with Jamie Hayter saved her there.

    All Elite Wrestling @AEW

    The winner AND STILL #AEW Girls’s World Champion Dr. Britt Baker, DMD (@RealBrittBaker) #AEWBOTB

    Charismatic above all else, Baker has carried herself like a star and the result’s somebody followers can spend money on and care about, whether or not they need to see her succeed or get overwhelmed up by one of many many gifted ladies on the AEW roster.

    A performer who has already completed nearly every part there may be to within the firm, she might simply step away, deal with dentistry and transfer on.

    As a substitute, she figures to be a big a part of AEW’s plans as soon as she is formally cleared to return to motion, constructing on a resume that has already seen her win the highest prize within the ladies’s division and seize the inaugural Girls’s Owen Hart Cup.

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    Baker, for as nice as she has been from a personality standpoint, has missed important time during the last yr as a consequence of harm, with no clear-cut indication of when she will likely be again within the ring. It can come, although, and all will likely be proper with the world, even when just for a second.

    The Good Physician would not have it another approach.

7. ‘Hangman’ Adam Web page

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    Accomplishments: AEW world champion, AEW world tag crew champion (with Kenny Omega)

    “Hangman” Adam Web page was the center and soul of AEW by means of its early years.

    An anxious millennial cowboy, he noticed his friendship with Kenny Omega and The Younger Bucks examined early, solely to associate with The Finest Bout Machine to seize the corporate’s world tag crew titles and efficiently defend them in opposition to Matt and Nick Jackson.

    He overcame his demons to problem for the world title. To perform his aim and seize the highest prize in AEW, he must defeat the person he teamed with initially, Omega.

    At Full Gear in November 2021, he did simply that, blasting the longest-reigning world champ on the time with the Buckshot Lariat to win the gold and stand atop the AEW mountain.

    Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading. @WrestlingInc


    @Nick_Hausman #AEWFullGear

    His reign can be short-lived and the follow-up was nowhere close to as partaking or fascinating because the journey to the title was.

    That’s till he uttered a now-infamous promo that ignited backstage tensions between The Elite and CM Punk that culminated within the messy All Out media scrum and backstage brawl.

    Web page stayed out of the weeds, averted suspension and continued to be one of the constant in-ring performers in AEW and a personality followers might simply relate to and spend money on.

    It was the reference to the followers that made him such a priceless piece of the AEW puzzle and allowed him to succeed on the highest ranges. It was with the corporate that he realized his fullest potential and introduced real emotion to prime storylines, one thing few performers have been in a position to do initially.

    When the followers have been prepared for a change and demanded a heel flip in 2024, he gave it to them. Routinely touting the injustice that saved him from a one-on-one world title match with Samoa Joe, he grew to become the cry-baby he usually fought in opposition to earlier in his AEW run.

    Although he finds himself on a hiatus now, Web page figures to be one of many centerpieces of AEW’s long-term inventive efforts. And when he does return, he ought to discover his dwelling within the revamped Elite, making certain many extra tales, rivalries and in-ring classics observe.

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6. Chris Jericho

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    Accomplishments: AEW world champion (inaugural), FTW champion

    There can be no All Elite Wrestling with out Chris Jericho.

    No matter anybody’s opinion now, Jericho’s star energy alone made the upstart firm a risk. With out that one era-defining star signing on to Khan and The Elite’s brainchild, AEW would have struggled to seek out an viewers past the area of interest fanbase its core rivals had achieved.

    The announcement that Jericho was All Elite modified the sport, created curiosity and served as an announcement to the remainder of the wrestling world that the corporate was not a billionaire’s vainness mission however was a authentic try to revolutionize the game.

    With nice energy comes nice duty and Jericho embraced it, competing in opposition to and defeating Kenny Omega within the inaugural Double or Nothing major occasion, turning into the primary AEW world champion and main the Internal Circle faction that might change into a centerpiece of the corporate’s inventive efforts early on.

    Feuds with Cody Rhodes, Jon Moxley, Orange Cassidy and MJF have been top-shelf packages that have been important to additional establishing the corporate as a real different to his former stomping floor, WWE.

    👑𝔸𝕕𝕒𝕞 𝔾𝕠𝕝𝕕𝕓𝕖𝕣𝕘👑  @AdamGoldberg28

    1 yr in the past, Chris Jericho grew to become the primary AEW world champion

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    An originator and innovator, Jericho competed within the first Stadium Stampede match in opposition to The Elite, joined his Internal Circle brethren in battle in opposition to The Pinnacle within the first-ever Blood and Guts match, and partnered with the revamped Jericho Appreciation Society in battle in opposition to The Blackpool Fight Membership in Anarchy within the Enviornment.

    A star who repeatedly proved able to reinventing himself, not often permitting himself to develop stale. When confronted with that risk in 2024, and dealing with an viewers’s whose urge for food for the longer term Corridor of Famer was waning, he launched a “Studying Tree” persona that obliviously soaks within the “adulation” of the followers.

    Has Jericho’s work been one of the best it has been in AEW? No, however whereas that capsule could also be robust to swallow for the performer and his most ardent supporters, there isn’t any denying his place within the firm’s historical past and simply how important he has been to the event and evolution of the product.

    A world-class competitor who fought on each main stage that there’s, and who squared off with each main star from Steve Austin to The Rock to Shawn Michaels, he was the primary to place his stamp of approval on what Khan and The Elite hoped to do with their new creation.

    The significance of that call alone is sufficient of an argument for him being even increased on this countdown than No. 6.

5. Bryan Danielson

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    Three years into his run with AEW, and it feels very very like the corporate was made for The American Dragon.

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    Among the handcuffs positioned on him in WWE from a stylistic standpoint have been off and Bryan Danielson was allowed to reintroduce a bodily, aggressive model that was tamed a bit within the largest firm within the business.

    Virtually instantly, he had a five-star basic in opposition to Kenny Omega at Dynamite: Grand Slam in September 2021. That match was so eagerly anticipated that earlier than the 2 each locked up, followers greeted their staredown with constructive chants. They delivered on the potential of the encounter and the followers ate it up, simply as they’d most of what Danielson has completed within the years since.

    Matches with Hangman Web page, Miro and Dustin Rhodes would additional set up the kind of work we’d see from Danielson, who seemed to be on a quest to remind everybody of who one of the best wrestler on this planet really was. His no-nonsense in-ring strategy meshed completely with that of Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta, and the Blackpool Fight Membership was born from there.

    As he nears the tip of his full-time in-ring profession, the 43-year-old usually finds himself wrestling the matches he needs, in opposition to stars from around the globe he admires. He additionally went out of his strategy to put Eddie Kingston over sturdy, shedding to him within the finals of the AEW Continental Basic and exhibiting him an indication of respect after the match.

    A selfless employee from the standpoint of wins and losses, he’s every part one would need from a prime star: He’s plausible, revered, reveals respect in sort and excels at each side of his job.

    He’s excellence personified however by no means carries himself like somebody superior to these round him. He merely likes to wrestle and elevate these round him. He’s, arguably, the best free-agent signing in firm historical past. And whereas his days as an on a regular basis competitor are nearing their finish, he has reiterated that he doesn’t intend to ever absolutely retire.

    The wrestling bug is so sturdy inside him that followers can nonetheless rely on a basic every time he decides to step again between the ropes.

4. The Younger Bucks

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

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    Accomplishments: Co-founders of AEW, AEW world tag crew champions (3), AEW world trios champions (2; inaugural, with Kenny Omega)

    Love them or detest them, The Younger Bucks are two different stars with out whom AEW wouldn’t exist.

    The co-founders together with Elite brethren Kenny Omega and Cody Rhodes, got down to change the wrestling panorama they usually did. Followers who adopted them all through their days of competing in Professional Wrestling Guerilla and New Japan Professional-Wrestling gleefully went alongside for the trip from the inception of AEW.

    Brash and bordering on boastful, the tandem knew they have been able to doing dazzling strikes and offensive mixtures that few might replicate. What they did between the ropes helped lay the inspiration for the AEW model that different groups would try to copy however fail to match.

    It was on full show of their early battles with Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fenix and meshed effectively with the normal ground-and-pound model of FTR, making Dax Harwood and Money Wheeler their biggest opponents beneath the banner of AEW.

    From a storyline perspective, they have been on the coronary heart of the story involving the dissension inside The Elite that included an on the spot basic match in opposition to Omega and Web page at Revolution 2020. They might reunite to take down The Internal Circle at Stadium Stampede.

    The flexibility to transition from babyface to heel proved priceless for the crew, too, as they crammed roles as wanted primarily based on harm or storyline calls for. One minute they have been dishonest on behalf of Omega; the following, they have been tearing down the home because the babyface challengers.

    It doesn’t matter what they did, they remained related.

    In 2024, the crew returned from a hiatus and once more discovered themselves within the function of villains, embracing their EVP standing as heel authority figures on prime of their detestable wrestler selves.

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    All Elite Wrestling @AEW

    The EVPs have some information for “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels.

    Watch #AEWDynamite LIVE on TBS!@YoungBucks | @FACDaniels | @boy_myth_legend | @TonySchiavone24

    Their work as disingenuous employers has seen them return to the primary occasion whereas capturing their third AEW tag title, making them the primary crew to perform that feat.

    The centerpieces of this period of AEW alongside Jack Perry and Kazuchika Okada within the revamped Elite, the Bucks determine to make extra historical past and create extra moments, making certain their place within the firm’s historical past and, probably, sending them additional up this listing by the point it’s revisited years from now.

3. MJF

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    Accomplishments: AEW world champion, Dynamite Diamond Ring (2019-2023)

    It was clear from the second the younger, loudmouthed and boastful MJF first appeared on AEW on the inaugural Double or Nothing that he was a star of the longer term.

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    Few might speak and infuriate a crowd like him, regardless of his relative inexperience. Extra importantly, he might again up his trash-talking between the ropes.

    He proved it, too, working with prime stars early in his AEW profession as these in energy acknowledged his potential.

    Prolonged feuds with Cody Rhodes, Chris Jericho and CM Punk positioned the Lengthy Island native because the heel of the longer term. He might dangle with these gifted orators on the mic, then exit and have a show-stealing match with them, making him the only most respected younger pillar within the promotion.

    Fightful Wrestling @Fightful

    This was an OUTSTANDING promo from MJF #AEWDynamite

    His work to always enhance and evolve as an in-ring employee, coupled together with his willingness to get warmth by saying absolutely anything to harass the followers and his friends, paid off in November 2022 when he defeated Jon Moxley for the AEW World Championship at Full Gear.

    The focus of the corporate’s inventive efforts for the following yr, he would efficiently defend in opposition to fellow pillars Darby Allin, Jack Perry and Sammy Guevara, Adam Cole and New Japan Professional-Wrestling legend Hiroshi Tanahashi.

    The feud with Cole, which noticed MJF develop the primary actual friendship of his grownup life, turned him right into a beloved babyface, just for his new buddy to betray him moments after the heartbreaking lack of the AEW title to Samoa Joe.

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    Sadly, the months-long storyline was by no means adequately adopted up because of accidents to each MJF and Cole. The previous has not been seen since his loss to Joe, sparking hypothesis about when he could also be again and what AEW has in retailer for him creatively.

    No matter what that could be, there isn’t any denying his place this excessive on the listing.

    From uncomfortable lashings of Rhodes with a leather-based belt to signing with Chris Jericho in a phase proper off of Broadway, to going toe-to-toe with Punk on the mic and wrestling an Iron Man match with Bryan Danielson, he has established himself as one of many faces of AEW’s temporary historical past and the star most definitely to information it into the following decade.

2. Kenny Omega

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    Accomplishments: Co-founder of AEW, AEW world champion, AEW world tag crew champion (with Hangman Web page), AEW world trios champion (2; inaugural, with The Younger Bucks), first AEW triple crown champion

    Probably the most embellished star in AEW’s first 5 years.

    Kenny Omega left a extremely profitable and profitable run in NJPW, the place he established himself as The Finest Bout Machine by way of classics with Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tetsuya Naito and others, to ascertain his legacy stateside as a part of a promotion he hoped would change the wrestling panorama without end.

    The previous chief of Bullet Membership joined The Younger Bucks, Cody Rhodes and Tony Khan in conceptualizing and introducing AEW to the world and wasted little time establishing what he would carry to the corporate.

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    One half of the primary occasion of the inaugural Double or Nothing, he misplaced to Chris Jericho in one other nice match between the 2, then instantly transitioned right into a rivalry with the incoming Jon Moxley. Their matches have been brutally violent, proving Omega was not merely a normal wrestler however might go hardcore when the event referred to as for it.

    Later, he teamed with Hangman Web page to win the tag titles, defeated the Bucks in a basic, and stood victorious beside his Elite buddies after the primary Stadium Stampede.

    It was his heel flip and run as AEW world champion that represented his greatest work, although. As The Belt Collector, he confirmed as much as Dynamite with the AAA and Affect Wrestling world titles to go together with his AEW model, a reminder of his excellence. Throughout his reign, he defeated Moxley and Christian Cage, amongst others.

    He wrestled a time-limit draw with Bryan Danielson in what is perhaps the best match in Dynamite historical past, earlier than dropping the title to Web page within the emotional fruits of Hangman’s story.

    Omega continued to churn out dazzling performances and win gold, principally with the Bucks in trios motion, however he nonetheless managed to interrupt Dave Meltzer’s star ranking system now and again, particularly following a showdown with Will Ospreay at Forbidden Door 2022.

    Darkish Puroresu Flowsion @PuroresuFlow

    Kenny Omega & Will Ospreay placed on the two greatest matches of the yr.

    Right here is Omega vs. Ospreay II at Forbidden Door 2 this yr.

    At the moment sidelined because of the results of diverticulitis, it stays to be seen after we will see Omega again within the AEW ring, however his legacy is secured both approach.

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    One of many visionaries of the corporate and a star who lived as much as the lofty expectations of followers, he stays one of the common and beloved stars within the business by those that have lengthy supported him and can proceed to, no matter what the longer term could maintain.

1. Jon Moxley

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    Credit score: All Elite Wrestling

    Accomplishments: AEW world champion (3), AEW interim world champion, AEW worldwide champion

    The second Jon Moxley emerged from the group on the inaugural Double or Nothing in Might 2019 and attacked Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega, it felt very very like professional wrestling would by no means be the identical once more.

    Moxley launched a paradigm shift that instantly established AEW as an alternative choice to WWE and cemented his standing as one of many faces of the promotion.

    His no-nonsense, grizzled in-ring model and willingness to undergo something if it meant beating his opponent captured the eye of followers and made him one of the common guys on the roster.

    It was solely a matter of time earlier than he captured the world title, defeating Jericho to change into champion on the first Revolution PPV in February 2020. The victory got here on the heels of an intensely violent feud with Omega that left little doubt in anybody’s thoughts that Moxley was ready and able to lead the corporate.

    He did and has continued to take action ever since.

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    Drainmaker 🌧️ 💵 @DrainBamager

    This Jon Moxley promo 3 days submit Brawl Out the place he describes his ardour and love for professional wrestling & what it means for him to be the AEW World Champion, simply hits exhausting in the present day.

    This man by no means complained, simply grinded and all the time rescued the corporate within the hardest of instances.

    Far higher than his many rivalries, victories and different accomplishments is the reliability and consistency he has delivered to AEW. In an organization that has seen accidents ravage the roster and adversely have an effect on inventive plans, or real-life controversies result in swift adjustments to reserving, Moxley has all the time been prepared to select up the ball and run with it.

    When CM Punk was injured in 2022, Moxley reigned as interim world champion. When Punk was suspended on account of the backstage brawl with the EVPs at All Out of that very same yr, Moxley once more ran with the title.

    Even after he fended off his personal demons and returned from an inpatient alcohol remedy program, Moxley stepped proper again into the combination and thrived as a member of the Blackpool Fight Membership.

    He has been steadily constant, can thrive as champion or just by beating folks up on the undercard. He has been profitable as a singles star or in tag groups, as witnessed in his and Claudio Castagnoli’s victory over FTR at Dynasty in April.

    Adaptable and dominant, Moxley is the star many believed he might have been as Dean Ambrose in WWE. Virtually assured to bleed in some unspecified time in the future in his matches, he has given every part he has for AEW, making him its MVP and savior within the hardest of instances.

    His model isn’t for everybody, and a few could discover fault with him seemingly by no means shedding, however there isn’t any denying what he has meant to the group or what number of instances he has bailed it out of robust conditions.

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    Moxley is its chief and tone-setter, extra so than any EVP or pillar might be, and he tops our listing due to that.

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