The Best and Worst used Ex WWE Talent in AEW 

Here I examine the Best and Worst used ex WWE talent currently in AEW. 

There has been a pretty hefty influx of talent that has made the jump over to AEW from WWE since the company started in 2019.

Whether the reason was for a better payday, a fresh start or to be more creatively in control of their careers, sometimes the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and for others its been a good career move.

The Best 

Christian Cage

No one expected Christian Cage to show up in AEW when he did, especially after such a long layout/ forced retirement. Christian surprised everyone by being an entrant in the WWE 2021 Royal Rumble. 

It seemed destined that he would have one last run in WWE but without a solid contract in place and hearing from Christian that he was asked to appear at The Royal Rumble at the last minute, Christian chose AEW and signed a multi year deal. 

Currently Christian Cage is perhaps the best thing AEW has at the moment, holding the TNT Championship and cutting great promos week in week out. 

Whether it be him angering his opponents by bringing up the past or bringing light to their dead fathers and insulting whatever city he is in, Christians segments are always a highlight of the show. 

He has helped to elevate talent such as Nick Wayne and Luchasaurus (now known as Killswitch) in his group “The Patriarchy” and continues to have great matches at the age of 50.

Christian seems to have a lot of creative freedom in his role in AEW and it shows. Christian has had a very memorable run in AEW and is quite possibly the best true heel in the Wrestling business today. 

Toni Storm 

From Toni Storm’s days in NXT and briefly in WWE you would have never expected this kind of transformation she has went through to become the character of “Timeless Toni Storm” 

An over the top Hollywood movie actress character from the 1950’s turned up to 10. 

Her segments stick out like a sore thumb with her scenes going from color to black and white to match her character.

Sometimes the show is wall to wall wrestling but then on Toni Storm segment and it breaks up the monotony of long meaningless matches with her wacky promo’s and comical facials. 

Storm is becoming a favorite with the audience and is currently the AEW Women’s champion with no one else on the women’s roster in touching distance to her right now.

Its not hard to see why she is so popular, the rest of the women’s division don’t have anywhere near as much character or personality about them and that can be a problem in itself as so far she hasn’t had an opponent that can match her and create a long rivalry.

I can’t see Toni Storm losing her title anytime soon and I wouldn’t be surprised if she has the AEW Women’s Championship for the rest of the year. 

Swerve Strickland 

Swerve Strickland’s release from WWE has  been a blessing in disguise as he is currently the hottest rising star in AEW. 

His momentum has started to hit an all time high right now with him gaining more and more crowd reaction every week, even as a heel the crowd can’t help but shout out “Swerve’s House” 

On top of this, his manager Prince Nana dances to his entrance music which the fans imitate also. 

There is just something fresh and unique about Swerve and I hope AEW can capitalize on this and make him a top star going forward. 

Whether it be a brutal match with his long time rival Hangman Page or a match against a seasoned veteran like Dustin Rhodes, Swerve has delivered in the ring also.

If he doesn’t hold the AEW World Title in the next 12 months I would be surprised…..well let’s just say the ball would be dropped massively and I’m hoping that is not the case. 

Billy “Daddy Ass” Gunn

What a run Billy Gunn is having right now, at the age of 60. he is currently the AEW Trios Champions with The Acclaimed who last time I checked were one of the highest merch sellers in AEW.

He looks in phenomenal shape and the fans are absolutely loving him with this “Scissoring” gimmick with The Acclaimed. 

Like Toni Storm who I mentioned earlier, his trios team with The Acclaimed is over the top silly character stuff but it works. 

I can’t even remember Billy Gunn’s last run in WWE, it was that long ago, so for him to be in his 60’s looking better than guys half his age and really looking like he is having a blast out there is something special to witness. 

On paper you wouldn’t think his pairing with The Acclaimed would be a good fit but it has worked like a charm and now he has reunited with his sons The Gunns and Jay White to form “The Bang Bang Scissor Gang” it doesn’t seem like this run is ending anytime soon. 


Unlike his WWE run which started out with so much hope and ended with what looked like a career ending injury at the hands of Seth Rollins.

Sting defied the odds, came back and  has had a great run to end to his career in AEW who have had him paired with Darby Allin for majority of the run.

For a while I felt like Sting should have had some big time singles matches. 

We missed seeing him up against the likes of Chris Jericho, Cody Rhodes or CM Punk but what we got has been a cool little team with the much younger Darby Allin. 

Sting at the age of 64 has never once looked like time has caught up with him, instead he is he is jumping off balcony’s onto opponents with the fans chanting “You Still Got It” 

This run in AEW has been a great way for Sting to properly finish his career with dignity and go out the way he deserves to and that’s as a bonafide legend and one of the best ever to do it. 

The Worst

Jake Hager 

This was a close call with some other ex WWE stars to put at the top but Jake Hager for me is the biggest waste of talent in AEW.

The guy is a legit fighter and former World Heavyweight Champion in WWE, to see him in such a meaningless role is criminal to me. 

We see him sparingly on TV, when we do it’s either him as a lackey for the former Jericho Appreciation Society members where he is  made to look like an absolute buffoon. 

He loses in unbelievable fashion to smaller less talented wrestler’s and just recently has been seen getting made fun of by Danhausen over his purple hat.  

Hager should be a killer but he is the complete opposite to it, when he comes out you have no faith he is going to win. What’s worse is he has absolutely no direction and is just stagnant on the show. 


The only thing that prevented Miro from being top of my list is that when he is actually on the show he generally wins, when he is on the show is very few and far in between. 

Apart from that, AEW are absolutely clueless as to what to do with Miro or his wife CJ Perry for that matter. The man is a beast and looks like a legit killer. 

How he is not at the top of the card is beyond me. 

In the six months I have been reviewing AEW I have only seen him involved in one angle/story and that was with Andrade, the angle started off with such promise and ended as flat as pancake, he hasn’t been seen on TV since. 

A huge waste of talent and is someone who looks legit which the show badly needs more of. I’m not sure how long Miro has left on his contract but I could definitely see him jumping ship back to WWE in the future.  

The Hardys 

It wasn’t that long ago that The Hardy’s returned to WWE at Wrestlemania to one of the loudest ovations in Mania history, eventually WWE began to drop the ball with them and first we seen Matt Hardy make the switch to AEW then later Jeff Hardy joined him after both were creatively stifled.

Fast forward to now and the Hardy’s find themselves in a worse situation in AEW. Relegated to the C show Rampage, they often don’t receive an entrance and are put in trios matches with Brother Zay. 

They very rarely ever appear on the main show Dynamite and when they do it’s to put others over. 

Before returning to WWE at Wrestlemania The Hardy’s were needle movers for TNA/Impact wrestling in their “Broken Universe” 

We seen out of the box creative and cinematic matches like “Total Nonstop Deletion” and “The Final Deletion” being so groundbreaking at the time when all we had was WWE doing a generic cookie cutter wrestling show. 

Seeing their peers Adam Copeland and especially Christian Cage be used and made to feel as important in AEW it baffles me how little effort is put into the Hardys in AEW. It almost seems like it’s done on purpose. 

The Hardy’s should be important on the show, hell they have proved that they can do other things than just have meaningless matches so why not let them do their thing and see what sticks. They had a rich vein of form in TNA why not try it in AEW.  

I really hope AEW isn’t the end for The Hardy’s as they deserve a hell of lot more than what they are currently getting. 

Johnny TV/ John Morrison 

    I had to put John Morrison in this title because there is a good chance no one knows who Johnny TV is.

    He rarely appears on TV, has  absolutely no direction whatsoever and when he does have a segment it is completely meaningless, same could be said for his real life wife Taya Valkyrie who he has been paired with him lately.

    Johnny TV aka John Morrison’s resume speaks for itself, he looks a million bucks and has been a champion in pretty much every promotion he has been in….well except AEW and it doesn’t look like he will getting a chance to at any point soon. 

    When you see some of the guys on AEW that appear weekly and are getting pushed I have to scratch my head when a guy like Johnny TV who looks like he does and can still wrestle at the highest level doesn’t have a weekly role on the main show. Baffling 


    Saraya aka (Paige in WWE) seems to be relegated to the C show Rampage where her role is trying to sabotage her friend Ruby Soho’s relationship with Angelo Parker. 

    Sure you could defend her AEW run and say she won the AEW Women’s title in her home country not that long ago and that she does have some sort of storyline going on but why does she feel so unimportant on the show? 

    It’s the way her Wembley title win was won, it just felt like it was given to give her a feel good moment in her home country. The fallout after her title win was her losing it quickly and getting beat on television and only appearing on Rampage which is the lowest rated show. 

    Her return to the ring after several years out due to multiple neck injuries should have been a big deal but it just hasn’t come across that way. 

    In her hey day in WWE, Paige was one of the most popular women’s wrestlers on the roster but this hasn’t seemed to translate over to AEW.

    It all comes down to how she is portrayed and made to look on TV and for me she just comes across as an afterthought when she could really be doing a hell of a lot more to help the Women’s Division which seems a bit scattered also. 

    Possibly she has limitations due to her previous injuries but I just feel she could be doing a lot more than trying to sabotage relationships and floating around on a show that barely draws a rating. 

    Have I missed anyone that should be on either side of the Best and Worst? Let us know on social media.

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    Kev Curran

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