Between recently extending their TV deal with TNT through 2023 and beating WWE NXT in the ratings most weeks, it's safe to say AEW is off to a strong start, especially in terms of the talent they've secured in the last year alone.
Chris Jericho, The Elite and Pac joining from the get-go gave the company instant credibility. Later additions such as The Lucha Brothers, Jon Moxley and Kris Statlander have only further bolstered their roster and have helped establish them as a true alternative to WWE.
As star-studded as AEW's current crop of competitors is, there were a number of free agents they could have conceivably snatched up but didn't for whatever reason. Some expressed interest in going but ultimately decided against it, while others never mentioned being approached by AEW when they absolutely should have been.
Edge, for example, likely never had any intentions of actually signing with AEW as he instead used them as leverage for a WWE return. That was a move that made sense. However, there are many more wrestlers who would have been a perfect fit for AEW but passed for another promotion.
Joey Ryan choosing to stay on the independent scene over AEW wasn't much of a loss, but these 10 stars could have been legitimate difference makers had the company done a better job of pursuing them.
Since 2008, Graham has been a diehard pro wrestling fan and, in 2010, he combined his passions for WWE and for writing and began writing for Bleacher Report. Equipped with a Bachelor's in Digital Journalism from Endicott College and a Master's in Journalism from Quinnipiac University in progress, Graham has contributed to WhatCulture, Daily DDT, Sports Betting Dime, and Gatehouse Media. Along the way, he has conducted interviews with WWE superstars like Chris Jericho, Adam "Edge" Copeland, Bill Goldberg, Jay "Christian" Reso, Diamond Dallas Page, and Jim Ross to name a few.