If there’s one thing All Elite Wrestling has done quite well so far compared to the competition, it’s managing legends through promotion. While WWE mainly brings old folks back for comeback episodes of Raw Where Smack down or a nice Royal Rumble spot, AEW seems to understand that wrestlers still have value as characters even though they can’t play in the ring anymore.
In the last two years of AEW’s existence, fans have seen retired performers like Taz, Arn Anderson and Jake Roberts as well as still capable in-ring contenders like Sting and even Christian Cage take on young wrestlers under their wing. Let’s take a look at some other potential captions that could appear in AEW and which they would be best associated with.
Andrade El Idolo & Ric Flair
Ric Flair leaving WWE in 2021 was a bit of a surprise, but he hasn’t disappeared from the public eye, most recently accompanying his son-in-law Andrade El Idolo to the ring for his AAA Mega Championship match with Kenny Omega at Triplemania XXIX. It makes sense that this relationship will continue in AEW since the iconic Flair and the beloved Andrade are also overconfident heels who dress well. The only problem is that El Idolo already has a manager at Chavo Guerrero, but it wouldn’t be the first time Flair has caused unnecessary strain in pro wrestling.
Leyla Hirsch and Kurt Angle
Apparently, Kurt Angle had already turned down an offer to return to the ring for AEW, but that doesn’t mean he still can’t participate and give a young star a lift. There is no better choice for this treatment than Leyla Hirsch, who has an amateur background similar to that of the Olympic gold medalist. Hirsh is awesome enough already, but the added spotlight of Kurt Angle’s presence couldn’t hurt – as long as they don’t make Angle Angle’s illegitimate kayfabe girl.
Brian Cage & Scott Steiner
Both incredibly muscular and athletically athletic, Brian Cage already had a mentor to Taz, who did a good job establishing him as a heel and rocking him around a turn. The only problem with Cage is that he’s not the best promo in the world, so he could use another legend in his corner – the one who is the best promo in the world, sort of.
Scott Steiner is a muscular freak too, and his promos are classic even though he doesn’t really say the words correctly or in the right order. But that would be hugely entertaining, as Cage could wear the chain mail hat and make surprise expressions when Steiner says something weird.
Abadon & AJ Mendez
Even before CM Punk debuted for AEW, fans wondered if his wife IRL AJ Mendez (formerly known as AJ Lee) would follow suit. A spine injury forced her to retire, but she’s also one of the best talkers the WWE Women’s Division has ever had, making her perfect managerial material. As far as who she could handle, the answer might be Abadon, the creepy artist in the Women’s Division who has the allure of being creepy and never speaking.
Jungle Boy and Kevin Nash
Many die-hard fans slam Kevin Nash through behind-the-scenes politics, but he’s also rightfully funny and charming as an on-screen character. His work in taking the entire Impact X division under his wing led to some of the funniest segments in this promotion’s history, so he could work the same magic in AEW. Since he played a character named Tarzan in Magic mike, Big Daddy Cool should certainly impose a mentorship on Jungle Boy – who is too polite to turn down – much to the chagrin of the rest of Jurassic Express.
Penelope Ford & Lita
Penelope Ford is often in a strange position in AEW, as one of the few women who functions as both an in-ring performer and a valet. She is good in the ring but could use her own manager to set her apart as a singles wrestler. Since she has a lot of studies, she would be paired well with Lita, beloved in the WWE Attitude Age for her unique looks and similar studies. She could be called “the original Superbad girl” or something like that.
Alex Reynolds and Bret Hart
Bret Hart has been on AEW before, appearing on the very first show, Double or nothing, to unveil the world title. Considering he was one of the best stars of the 1990s, Hart still feels like he has a lot to offer – if he’s interested – and shouldn’t just appear for easy nostalgia pop. If he was to guide anyone in AEW, it would have to be Alex Reynolds.
A little eclipsed by his partner John Silver, Reynolds appears to be at odds with his Dark Order family and determined to eliminate the toxic elements from his life. Bret Hart knows a thing or two about toxic elements (see: Stone Cold Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels) so they would probably have a lot to say.
Mike Sydal & Diamond Dallas Page
There’s probably no good reason to separate the Sydal brothers or anything, but if there’s one thing that could set the more low-key Mike Sydal apart from his brother Matt, it would be a pairing with a legend. Considering that Mike Sydal is a yoga guy, it would be great to have him hang out with Diamond Dallas Page, the most famous yoga guy in wrestling. He would be a great trainer type character and would probably lead to some really good comedy segments.
Fuego Del Sol & El Generico
Independent wrestling legend El Generico hasn’t been seen since 2013, but there’s still a chance the generic luchador will resurface and join its former Pro Wrestling Guerrilla buds in AEW. If that were to happen, Generico would have to take Fuego Del Sol under his wing. The two are not only masked high ruffles but also beloved underdogs, with Fuego signing to AEW after a brutal loss to Miro being an emotional high for the fight this year and Generico’s betrayals at the hands of Kevin. Steen being one of the most engaging things to come out of the indie scene.
Adam Page and Steve Austin
Adam Page does very well on his own – at least, as a successful and popular character – but the possibility that Hangman Page and Stone Cold Steve Austin have some kind of on-screen relationship is far too tempting. Their characters are not similar, as Page is more of a cowboy and Austin is a mad redneck, but their mutual love for drunkenness in the ring is more than enough to unite them. Austin is probably too loyal to WWE to work for the competition, but it’s a beautiful dream.
FOLLOWING: Stone Cold Steve Austin movies, ranked from worst to best
Following the unification of the first two belts, NJPW’s IWGP World Heavyweight title suffered from poor reservation and poor design choice.
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