Many people pledge to do something new every time a new year rolls around and the Young Bucks added themselves to that group in late 2018. We knew the popular tag team and most of their stablemates/webseries castmates would be leaving ROH at the end of the year long before their final performances at Final Battle, and Matt Jackson’s tweet of a countdown clock set to end on Janaury 1, 2019, told us when we would learn the Elite’s next move.
A new video was uploaded to the Being The Elite YouTube channel at midnight on New Year’s Day. It mostly served as a regular episode of the webseries and built a lot of hype, which at the end of the video paid off with the reveal (outside the Tokyo Dome) that yes, All Elite Wrestling is the name of the a new wrestling promotion and there will be a wrestling event called “Double Or Nothing.”
The official Twitter account for All In changed its name to “Double or Nothing” and said a “rally” event, “free for all fans” would occur on Janaury 8, 2019 “featuring a special announcement from the Elite.” The poster for the rally features SCU (Scorpio Sky, Christopher Daniels, and Frankie Kazarian), the Young Bucks, Cody, Hangman Page, and Brandi Rhodes, and advertises “more special guests.”
Late on December 31, 2018, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter tweeted that a new WOR show “of great interest” would go up at midnight “concurrent” with the AEW announcement. This pre-recorded show ended up having slightly more substantial information about the new wrestling venture. The main takeaways were:
- Cody and others are signed to AEW, but the Young Bucks were not at the time of the announcement
- It’s up in the air if AEW wrestlers can work with New Japan Pro Wrestling, but Meltzer says he knows they would like to keep working there
- AEW does not have a TV deal, but has multiple offers
- The success of All In impressed people in the television industry and that show was key to AEW coming to be
So basically, we don’t know much about All Elite Wrestling yet (except that they also reportedly didn’t want to buy Impact), but we’ll probably find out significantly more next week. If AEW does get a show, this could result in another TV option for pro graps fans along with the upcoming WOW Women of Wrestling. These additional product options and job opportunities will certainly have an impact on the wrestling industry, though exactly how is obviously still all speculative. Most immediately, it’s not unthinkable this could affect multiple match outcomes at Wrestle Kingdom 13.
In regards to NJPW working with another company (in addition to ROH, CMLL, and RevPro) company president Harold Meij had this to say when asked by With Spandex in November 2018 (though specifically asked about other Japanese companies), “We’re open to work with anyone really, as long as we can make contributions as well. It has to be a give and take on both sides.”
It’s safe to say Kenny Omega, whose NJPW contract is up at the end of January 2019, is the wrestler absent from the announcement fans will be speculating about the most. The IWGP Heavyweight Champion recently posted a video referencing the video game Undertale, seemingly from his villainous New Japan character’s perspective, in which he used the support of his friends to defeat Tanahashi, but it’s now unclear if or when we’ll see the Elite in the same promotion past Wrestle Kingdom. Marty Scurll is likely to still make NJPW appearances since he’s still with Ring of Honor, but the rest of the group besides Yujiro Takahashi and presumably Chase Owens (who might secretly still be in Bullet Club?) might not wrestle for the King of Sports anymore.
Whatever and whoever All Elite Wrestling ends up being like, working with, and contracting, it’ll be interesting to see how this affects the wrestling landscape as 2019 begins.