In a surprising turn of events that has set the professional wrestling world abuzz, 2024 heralds a fierce 'bidding war' between All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). The center of this wrestling whirlwind? Tony Khan, the AEW President, who is rumored to be on the brink of unveiling another sensational free agent signing, possibly shaking up the scene just before WWE's highly anticipated Royal Rumble.
AEW, renowned for its bold acquisitions, ended 2023 on a high note with the likes of Will Ospreay, Mariah May, and Kota Ibushi joining its ranks. The momentum continued into the new year, with Deonna Purrazzo making a stunning debut.
Yet, the rumor mill suggests that AEW isn't resting on its laurels. The company has reportedly set its sights on several WWE targets, including the illustrious Kazuchika Okada, known as 'The Rainmaker'
Okada's Departure Shocks
The wrestling community was taken aback a few days ago when New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) announced Okada's imminent departure from the promotion.
This revelation quickly sparked a frenzy, with both AEW and WWE seemingly extending offers to the sought-after wrestler. Khan's previous collaborations with Okada, marked by his appearances in AEW, could give the promotion an edge.
The flexibility in Okada's working arrangements may also play a pivotal role in his decision. Speculations are rife that this week, Khan might stun the wrestling world yet again. He could either declare Okada's alignment with AEW or orchestrate an in-person contract signing during one of the flagship shows, 'Dynamite' or 'Collision'
Such a move would be a significant setback for WWE, which has been keen on securing Okada's talents. Amidst the swirling interest from both AEW and WWE, Okada himself recently shed light on his decision to leave NJPW. In an interview with Tokyo Sports, 'The Rainmaker' articulated his aspirations beyond NJPW's realm.
He expressed a desire to avoid complacency and to continually strive for greatness. "After my announcement, I realized how comfortable I had become at NJPW," Okada reflected. "I began my journey in Mexico, evolved in NJPW, and after 12 years, I became 'The Rainmaker'
But I don't want to stagnate. As 'human' Okada, I cherish my friends and the environment here. However, as 'wrestler' Okada, I crave challenges and growth." This development adds a thrilling dimension to the wrestling industry's landscape in 2024.
With the Royal Rumble on the horizon, the wrestling community eagerly awaits Tony Khan's next move - a move that could potentially redefine the dynamics between AEW and WWE.