The idea that Tony Khan only recruits ex-WWE wrestlers to AEW is easily disproven with a quick glance at the company's roster.
It's a stupid criticism in the first place. Why would you pass on a talented performer with name value who can help you make money and grow, whether it be now or in the future, purely because they used to work for your closest competition? Nonsense - and ignorant of the wider net Khan and his team cast to bolster the product.
Hikaru Shida, Riho, and Emi Sakura hail from the Japanese joshi scene. Daniel Garcia and Lee Moriarty are at the indie zeitgeist's forefront. How many of you had heard of Powerhouse Hobbs, Wardlow, or Red Velvet pre-AEW? Anthony Ogogo and Jade Cargill are ground-up prospects. In 2021 alone, wrestlers from NJPW, IMPACT, DDT, TJPW, and more have all walked through the Forbidden Door.
AEW find hidden gems. Theirs is a robust scouting system adept at unearthing your next favourite wrestler and establishing them as national television stars in the United States - and their fingers are never off the pulse.
Chances are the men and women within are already on Khan's radar. Regardless, each is fit to blow the AEW audience's minds upon arrival...