AEW Five Years From Now: Future Predictions For WWE”s Biggest Rival Since WCW

By michael
Feb 24, 2024
MJF - AEW World Title & ROH Tag Title

You have to give AEW credit. No mainstream wrestling company since WCW in the mid-1990s has managed to create the kind of buzz that AEW has. TNA Wrestling did make some waves. However, they never seemed to connect with fans as much…especially when they went under bad leadership. AEW has established itself as the clear second company in the professional wrestling world.

They have a major TV contract, a fairly stable fanbase, and a roster of talent that is as good as any company to rival WWE in 40 years.

The first five years have been a win for the most part. Sure, many things need to be fixed or altered. However, for the most part, AEW has done relatively well for itself. The question is, what will the next five years look like? We’re going to lay out some predictions about the direction AEW will take. As well as what this company will likely look like by 2029.

Of course, they will need to continue to try and establish themselves as a powerhouse in the wrestling industry. Otherwise, none of these predictions will work out.

That said, let”s get started!


MJF - AEW World Title & ROH Tag Title

This prediction isn’t a stretch if we’re being honest. Also, timing-wise, these predictions could be wrong by a couple of months. The fact is that there is no way that these four pillars are all lifers. Especially given their ages. When we talk about the Four Pillars of AEW, we specifically mean MJF, Darby Allin, Sammy Guevara, & “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry.

Of course, “technically” Jack Perry recently showed up in New Japan Pro Wrestling and even tore up his AEW contract. However, this doesn”t mean he is gone from AEW entirely. Especially given the talent exchange and working relationship AEW has with NJPW.

MJF is the obvious answer for the person who leaves, but it could be the wrong one. He”s been used heavily in AEW and was given a ton of gold already. Plus, MJF will likely work as the top heel or top babyface of the company going forward. Yet talks with WWE may make him consider leaving. He”d need to be really enticed to go to WWE too as he won’t be at the same level of star power he enjoys in AEW.

However, Darby Allin and Sammy Guevara could be great additions to the WWE roster. Each could find themselves in a better spot than they are now. When the company touts you as one of the mainstays of the company, they have to make good on that marketing by giving you a big role.

The future for Guevara looks murky. Allin, after Sting officially retires (this was written before his last match), is also a question mark. When their contracts are up, and WWE comes calling, the opportunity to elevate their status on a bigger stage will be too good for one of them to pass up.



Despite what you might think of Tony Khan’s usage of Ring of Honor, he wasn’t foolish when he purchased it. Vince McMahon never wanted WCW, just the tape library the same way he never cared about ECW, only their tape library. Khan was the same way. His purchase of ROH is about their incredible tape library and he’s going to use that and his current televised products to bring his whole operation to streaming.

Will it be on one service? We think that’s the likely result. They don’t have enough value in their individual programs (except for maybe Dynamite) to package them separately. Their best bet is the all-in-one. For one shockingly large price, they’ll get access to Dynamite, Rampage, Collision, and ROH. That, coupled with the pay-per-views that will become Premium Live Events and a promise of more regular PLE could make AEW a very attractive package.

Subscribers of AEW will pay for service 52 weeks a year (or a 12-month model), and they don’t take time off.

MAX makes the most sense, given it is part of Warner Bros. Discovery. However, with WBD and Paramount Global talking about a merger, there is a possibility that Paramount+ could be a destination too. However, Khan has connections that run far and deep. Players like Peacock, Amazon, and even Apple TV could be interested in live programming.


ROH Logo

It’s easy to criticize Tony Khan for not doing a ton with the ROH brand since he acquired it, but there’s likely a method to the madness. Why give WBD a whole new show if they aren’t going to pay properly for it?

Khan now has an immense tape library of one of the most influential organizations of the last 25 years. He knows what he has, and it makes sense to use it to drive up the price of this overall deal.

We predict that you’ll be watching ROH on some streaming network weekly in the next five years. It could even be similar to Lucha Underground, where it’s produced for 20 weeks out of the year and released like a season of traditional television. ROH is gone but not forgotten. The market for IP and weekly live programming has never been hotter. It’s only a matter of time.

On top of this, Khan is already still having ROH titles defended regularly on AEW TV, and ROH PPVs are still technically a thing. A weekly television show for Ring of Honor just seems sensible.


Jay White

Will AEW be the place someone like Kevin Owens or Sami Zayn might go as they approach the back nine of their career? Absolutely. Will the aging AJ Styles or a possibly faltering LA Knight need a jumpstart AEW could provide? Sure.

Will it be where an up-and-coming star with their pick of promotions goes? No, this is not going to be that type of place for most. For all AEW has proven they can do inside the ring, they haven’t shown that they build legit stars and elevate guys who make the jump to the Jacksonville promotion.

Bryan Danielson is leading most of the training sessions, and the Nightmare Academy that Cody Rhodes owns was helping to provide some talent. Yet Bryan is often doing this in the ring that is set up before a show 1 to 2 times per week. Training is not happening in a dedicated daily training center like the WWE Performance Center.

AEW is good at many things, but building stars isn’t one of them. Something drastic needs to change in the next five years. If not, this is going to be the thing that WWE will have over them continually. At some point, the wrestlers who believe they have the talent to be a big star will want to go to the place with a proven track record of creating big stars.

AEW will always be a place for high-quality action. However, it’ll be a mix of guys most have never heard of and other wrestlers doing good work in the twilight of their careers. If the company opens a wrestling training center, that could help them go a long way in creating new stars in the business.


Jade Cargill - TBS Champion

Before we get started, we don’t want to hear about the TBS Women’s Championship (sorry Jade). It’s not a mid-card title as much as it has no idea what it wants to be. While the TNT Title has been okay as a mid-card championship, AEW now has an Intercontinental Championship. That is among others for the men. Any title named after a network or brand is idiotic and only makes sense if you”re trying to suck up to the brand itself.

Outside of all-female promotions, the women’s division in pro wrestling has long been without a mid-card title. With the rosters expanding, there’s no better time and place than AEW soon to release their version of the Women”s Intercontinental Championship. We”d also settle for a Women”s Continental Championship, but we can workshop the idea.

This can be the title you give the up-and-comer who has something to prove. AEW has a lot of work to do on their women’s division, which might start and end with more screen time. A good way to do that would be to give them a meaningful mid-card title that helps build these performers and give them feuds with real stakes.


Eddie Kingston - Winning AEW Continental Championship

We might have just been discussing the idea of adding a championship to the AEW list of growing titles. However, we do need to admit that this company has gotten out of hand with the amount of titles they have now.

Do you know how many championships AEW has? 40. Okay, it’s not 40, but it feels like it. The problem with titles is too many of them. You don’t know what they are supposed to signify and which is more important than the other. Is the Continental Championship more important than the FTW Championship? Is the TNT Title more important?

Moreover, when you have several championships, it waters down the importance of ALL titles. Quite frankly, if you can be a pretty much any stage in AEW and win a title, then titles do not mean nearly as much as they need to.

One or many need to go. Same with the tag team titles. You’d be better off making a Freebird rule and disbanding the Trio’s title. We know Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks, as well as Tony Khan, love the Japanese & Mexican style of things. Which is where Trios Titles are often used the most. Yet this type of title for an American promotion is pretty insignificant.

This isn’t a wrestling problem. It’s a marketing problem. Having championships that don’t make sense to your audience is a problem.

If AEW gets smart and gets serious, they’ll get rid of TNT (or rename it) and then get rid of FTW, TBS, and the Trio”s title. Make it something we can follow and understand.

We also did not even discuss the ROH Titles still swimming around on AEW programming.


Britt Baker & Saraya

It’s baffling how a company that is known for its in-ring product can have such a lackluster women’s product on a nightly basis. It’s not that they don’t have talent, they do in spades. They just don’t give them the time or the space to put on world-class matches.

Mercedes Moné should at least help to change all of that with her arrival. If AEW can’t use one of the most talented wrestlers of her generation to put on classic matches with the likes of Saraya, Athena, Toni Storm, and Britt Baker, then there’s nothing else to say.

We think Mercedes is going to change their approach. Plus, we’re going to start to see time and space to let these ladies work.

We do not think that AEW will try to get some sort of all-female show or anything. It”s just that they have technically three shows, not including the future ROH television show. You cannot tell us that they do not have the time to have some great female wrestling on any of these shows regularly.

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