Prior to last Friday’s Rampage, AEW President Tony Khan tweeted that he had a major announcement to reveal on that evening’s show. That announcement turned out to be the reveal of a debut of a major signing coming to AEW on this Wednesday’s Dynamite. Said debut signing will be Isaiah Kassidy’s opponent in the first of the Face of the Revolution Ladder Match qualifying matches.
In subsequent tweets, Khan clarified the following regarding this hotly-anticipated debut:
The curious wording of that previous tweet, especially the “welcome to slam the door in the face of their prior company” raises a lot of interesting questions about the big signing.
Who could this mystery debut on tomorrow’s Dynamite be? We’ve offered up some speculations on who we think it could be taking on Kassidy this coming Wednesday.
Matt Hardy’s brother and the other half of the Hardy Boyz tag team was recently released from WWE following an incident in the middle of a live house show. Matt has gone on to say that the incident wasn’t a relapse of his addiction, citing on a Twitch stream that Jeff’s final drug test with WWE was clean, and that the abrupt exit was largely due to Jeff being stressed out by the workload in WWE.
The Young Bucks, always ready to poke the bear through their ever-changing Twitter bio, posted the following last week:
Perhaps the one other thing that adds the most fuel to this flame is who the Forbidden Door Debut will be facing on Dynamite. Isaiah Kassidy has been a part of Matt’s H.F.O. stable since its inception, and that Hardy family connection could be a hint to Jeff’s arrival. What’s more is that the H.F.O. is currently undergoing a restructuring with Andrade El Idolo taking partial control of the group.
A Hardy Boyz reunion in AEW would be a massive shot in the arm for an already-stacked-to-the-brim tag division, and the possibilities of Matt and Jeff taking on teams like the aforementioned Bucks, FTR, Lucha Brothers, the Kings of the Black Throne, and Jurassic Express should fill AEW fans with excitement.
Probably the most popular choice as to who the new free agent’s identity is. Lee’s 90-day non-compete clause expired as of last Wednesday, which has led to many fans speculating that his All Elite arrival is imminent. Lee is a tremendous in-ring talent whose size, skill, and unmatched charisma would be a big help for him to stand out in the ever-growing AEW roster. Again, the potential for dream encounters runs high if Lee is #AllElite. Just imagine him sizing up to guys like Wardlow, Powerhouse Hobbs, Lance Archer, or Luchasaurus.
Of course, if the Free Agent is indeed Keith Lee, I’m sure Adam Cole will be keeping his head on a swivel, given the last time they encountered each other:
The Canadian grappler, currently signed to Impact Wrestling, was recently namedropped by Brandi Rhodes on last week’s Dynamite, during an in-ring promo segment with Dan Lambert and the Men of the Year. Alexander’s three-year contract with Impact is set to expire soon, which only opens up the possibility that he could be set to jump ship to AEW as early as this Wednesday. Alexander brings one of the best technical-based styles with him and in a promotion that has the likes of Bryan Danielson, Kyle O’Reilly, Daniel Garcia, and CM Punk, that creates a multitude of fantasy matches for “The Walking Weapon” to have if he joins AEW.
Yet another hotly-speculated talent that could see himself be in AEW sooner rather than later. Fans were hoping to see Johnny Wrestling make an appearance in his hometown of Cleveland for Beach Break on January 26th. The event came and went without a Gargano appearance, but it seems that his becoming #AllElite is all but confirmed. Worth noting that his wife Candice LeRae is due to give birth to a baby real soon, so that might keep Gargano away from wrestling just a bit longer to be their for the birth.
Arguably a longshot pick, admittedly, but the former IWGP United States Champion’s New Japan contract expired recently, and his arrival, while not on the same level as the aforementioned names, would fit within how AEW has presented the concept of The Forbidden Door.
With those semi-realistic picks out of the way, let’s make like one Zicky Dice and get outlandish with these next two picks…
John Cena as Peacemaker
While it’d be a cold day in hell before we see Cena on AEW programming that isn’t just a commercial for his show Wipeout, what if he’s the Free Agent, but under a guise more familiar with everyone these days. It’s no secret that Cena hasn’t been afraid of donning the silver helmet and red-white-and-blue Peacemaker togs for appearances on talk shows and red-carpet premieres, so could this be the way we get Cena as part of the AEW family? Hey, he’s a part of the WarnerMedia fold now by way of his hit HBO Max series, so you never know…
(Sidenote: This may or may not have been an excuse just to include the awesome opening credits of Peacemaker)
Yes, that’s right. You. The one reading this article. Check your phone, because Tony Khan might’ve contacted you himself about signing with AEW. I don’t know why TK had you in mind for the big Free Agent debut, but whatever it is he saw in you, it’s got to be something amazing. In that case, what are you waiting for? Better get ready for Dynamite in Atlantic City tomorrow to show the world what you’re really made of. Go prove that you truly are #AllElite.
Marc Quill is the editor of RingCrashers, GateCrashers’ home for all your All Elite Wrestling and indie wrestling needs. He’s also the web novelist behind Skye Emery: Bluebird, which you can read here. You can chat with him about wrestling, comics, and stuff in general on @MarcQuill on Twitter.