After KENTA showed up on Dynamite and the “Forbidden Door” between AEW and New Japan was opened, Cody Rhodes did an interview where he floated the possibility of working with WWE some day.
Cody’s fellow AEW Executive Vice-President Kenny Omega and even company head Tony Khan followed with similar comments. It got fans who were already fantasy booked a transpacific Bullet Club feud wondering if something like this could be a reality:
Brock is one of the greatest athletes and performers of all time. I’d need more friends if I were to face him.— Kenny Omega (@KennyOmegamanX) February 22, 2021
It’s a legitimately thrilling idea for wrestling buffs. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s check with someone who’s been in WWE’s employ more recently than Cody - and who’s less likely to engage in promoter-speak because he isn’t part of the AEW management team.
That’s what Inside The Ropes did, asking Jon Moxley about a the possibility of his current and former companies working together:
“That would never happen. That’s not even worth wasting any mental energy to… You know. I mean, if you want to fantasy book some cool shit. You know, maybe you could fantasy book it for, like, fun magazine, stuff. You know, Like back in the day, in magazines, you used to always have, like, ‘Dream match. Bill Goldberg versus Steve Austin,’ in ’98. But that ain’t gonna happen.
“It’d be cool to think about the cool shit that could happen, you know, like a big summit at the Tokyo Dome, AEW, NJPW, WWE or some shit but that shit ain’t going to happen. So, you know, they do their thing. They stay over there.”
Weird as it seems to get the rational take from a guy who gets giddy about working deathmatches, the former Dean Ambrose is right. WWE’s every move since AEW’s inception has been about keeping as many eyeballs off Tony Khan’s product as possible. The notion that they’d start cross-promoting Dynamite would be a massive about face - and something that’s unlikely.
One can wonder if it would change in a possible future where Vince McMahon isn’t running WWE, but even then, there will be shareholders and business partners to answer to. Stephanie McMahon, Triple H or Nick Khan will have to come up with a compelling argument for why teaming up with an upstart competitor is good for the bottom line, and at present, I’m not sure there is one.
Don’t let that stop you from daydreaming about Sasha Banks vs. Hikaru Shida - that’s all part of the fun of being a fan. But keep Mox’s take in mind before you set yourself up for disappointment.