AEW expanded their roster with the addition of 30 wrestlers in 2021.
All Elite additions to the men’s division include Christian Cage, Malakai Black, CM Punk, Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison of the Varsity Blondes, Fuego del Sol, Adam Cole, Bryan Danielson, Daniel Garcia, Jay Lethal, Matt Lee and Jeff Parker of 2point0, Andrade, Lio Rush, Shawn Dean, Bobby Fish, Lee Moriarty, Kyle O’Reilly, Ethan Page, Lee Johnson, Hook, and Tony Nese.
There were also Paul Wight and Mark Henry, however you want to classify them as wrestlers or commentators.
All Elite additions to the women’s division include Leyla Hirsch, Thunder Rosa, Mercedes Martinez, Red Velvet, Jamie Hayter, and Ruby Soho.
Danielson and Punk are the prize jewels of the All Elite class of 2021. Their signings turned AEW’s reputation from a fledgling promotion on the rise into a major player in the business. Add in the reunion of Cole, Fish, and O’Reilly as moves we never saw coming at the start of the year. AEW stockpiled young depth with Pillman, Garrison, Garcia, Moriarty, Johnson, and Hook. Sprinkle in veterans such as Christian, Lethal, Rush, and Nese to season the roster.
The two names I’m most eager for in 2022 are Black and Andrade. Both men seem primed for bigger things with the potential for creating their own factions. Black appears to be putting together a group of violent people, and fans will always be hoping to see an Ingobernables reunion for Andrade and Rush with Dragon Lee and Dralistico.
On the women’s side, Thunder Rosa and Soho elevated the division as a whole with their superstar power. Hirsch, Velvet, and Hayter have shined when given the spotlight. Martinez just arrived, so her veteran presence hasn’t had time to bloom yet.
Due to the large size of the roster, Tony Khan stated that he will have to be more discerning than ever about signing more talent in this new year. That will be a tough task with so many quality wrestlers still on the market. Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman, Killer Kross, Scarlett Bordeaux, John Morrison, Taya Valkyrie, and Ember Moon are a few that could make instant impacts.
Which wrestlers were your favorite acquisitions for AEW in 2021? Who would you like to see AEW sign in 2022?