Bryan Danielson, Adam Cole Explain Joining AEW After WWE Exit; Mick Foley Praises AEW
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Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe and All Elite Wrestling.
Danielson Embraces ‘Wrestling’ with AEW Move
On a night full of big debuts, none was bigger at AEW’s All Out pay-per-view than Bryan Danielson’s arrival to close out the show.
Speaking to fans inside NOW Arena, Danielson echoed one theme of CM Punk’s long-awaited comeback.
“I am a wrestler,” he said, per Wrestling Inc’s Sai Mohan. “I never left wrestling. I took wrestling everywhere I went. I said wrestling when I wasn’t supposed to say wrestling. And now, I’m here to goddamn wrestle!”
During his promo on AEW Rampage after returning to the ring, Punk said how he “left professional wrestling” in 2005, which is when he signed with WWE. That comment referenced how WWE Chairman Vince McMahon has long viewed his product as “sports entertainment” rather than wrestling.
AEW appears to be establishing itself as a contrast to that.
Cole Explains Departure from WWE
Before Danielson made his way down the entrance ramp, it looked like Adam Cole was going to be AEW’s most impactful addition Sunday night.
Cole said during a post-All Out media conference he “had a very excellent four-year experience” in WWE—competing almost exclusively in NXT. Despite that, the allure of signing with AEW was too good to pass up.
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“Making the decision was a fairly easy one.”<a href=”https://twitter.com/AdamColePro?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@AdamColePro</a> is <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/AllElite?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#AllElite</a> & talks his debut at <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/AllOut?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#AllOut</a> 👊<a href=”https://twitter.com/AEW?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@AEW</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/davidlagreca1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@davidlagreca1</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/baybay?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#baybay</a> <a href=”https://t.co/ex7jnLK1Oa”>pic.twitter.com/ex7jnLK1Oa</a>
For years, wrestlers didn’t have many alternatives to WWE in the United States if they grew a bit disenchanted or wanted a new challenge. No other promotion was a viable direct competitor, and competing on the independent scene brought its own challenges.
In terms of revenue, AEW still has a long way to go to catch up to WWE. The signings of Punk, Danielson, Cole and Ruby Soho show how it’s quickly earning a reputation to be on par with WWE as an in-ring rival, though.
Foley: AEW Has ‘No Shortage of Compelling Storylines’
Wrestling legend Mick Foley praised the work of AEW in building a strong stable of stars less than two full years after the launch of AEW Dynamite in October 2019.
There’s no question the buzz surrounding AEW is enormous.
Maintaining that momentum is the company’s next challenge because the initial excitement inevitably fades. As Foley alluded to, telling engaging stories and making Dynamite and Rampage must-watch television is what AEW needs to truly thrive.
It’s equally important to use marquee stars such as Danielson and Punk to help shine a light on wrestlers who didn’t build reputations in WWE. There are probably a lot of people who have discovered Darby Allin in large part because of his alliance with Sting and brief feud with Punk.
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