AEW shocked the wrestling world with a trio of debuts at AEW All Out. Firstly Ruby Soho, formerly Ruby Riott in WWE, debuted as ‘The Joker’ in the women’s casino battle royale. Soho went on to win the battle royale and will face Britt Baker DMD for the Women’s Championship.
A week after his final NXT Match, Adam Cole debuted at AEW All Out, siding with Kenny Omega and rejoining ‘The Elite’. However, the surprises didn’t end there. As the crowd believed the show was over, the beginning of Flight of the Valkyrie played and Bryan Danielson emerged.
AEW has secured some of the biggest stars in the business. CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, and Adam Cole have debuted in the last month but who is the next big star to join Tony Khan’s AEW?
Windham Rotunda - Formerly Bray Wyatt
WWE has released numerous superstars since the beginning of the pandemic but none shocked fans more than Windham Rotunda. The 12-year WWE veteran had rebuilt his character over the years and became a fan favorite with ‘The Fiend’. But questionable booking decisions alongside the restrictions on his creativity left ‘The Fiend’ off television after Wrestlemania.
His release was announced on July 31st and fans were already planning his next employer. His 90-day non-compete clause concludes at the end of October and he could make an AEW appearance at Full Gear on November 6th.
Buddy Matthews - Formerly Buddy Murphy
After an eight-year stint with WWE, Buddy Matthews was released on June 2nd, 2021.
He began his on-screen WWE career with Wesley Blake on NXT. They held tag-team gold before disbanding and going their separate ways. After his tag-team run, Buddy Matthews proved he was capable of being a solo star when he won the cruiserweight title from Cedric Alexander in his home country of Australia.
His run with the Cruiserweight title was arguably his best during his WWE tenure. Matthews was Cruiserweight champion for 183 days and had impressive feuds with Cedric Alexander, Tony Nese, and Mustapha Ali.
Buddy Matthews was also impressive on the main roster as a disciple to Seth Rollins. A henchman figure, Murphy shone when feuding with the Mysterio family and Malakai Black. Now Black is with AEW, Matthews could debut and reignite a feud that didn’t get enough attention on WWE television.
The IInspiration - Formerly The IIconics
Before Ruby Soho debuted at All Out, rumors circulated that ‘The Joker’ could be the Australian duo Cassie Lee and Jessica McKay - The IInspiration. Formerly the IIconics, McKay, and Lee were fan favorites on WWE television before their split in August 2020.
The pair have insisted that they are a package deal and will return as such. AEW may not have a women’s tag division just yet, but the pair could debut as two solo stars who accompany each other to the ring.
The charismatic duo’s non-compete clause ended on August 31st so expect them to show up on American television very soon.
Michael McKean is an experienced writer with a portfolio that includes work on the subjects of sport, gambling, travel and finance. With a background rooted in journalism, Michael first ventured into the professional writing world based in Switzerland, where he wrote for a number of language and travel sites and magazines before moving into the world of sports writing and gambling sites.
As an avid soccer fan, who follows everything from the Scottish lower leagues to the European elites, he has earned himself a solid reputation as a reliable football betting tipster and predictor. Outside of work, Michael has always gotten involved with grassroutes football everywhere he has worked and lived - UK, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Brazil - and still isn’t shy when it comes to pulling the boots on himself. As well as soccer, he has also developed a love of North American sports, particularly ice hockey - a love which began in Switzerland and saw him venture across the pond to follow the NHL. Moving away from dry land, he’s also a keen longboard surfer and is happiest when writing with a view of the ocean.