What is AEW? Roster, news, schedule, primer to get ready for All Elite Wrestling's Double or Nothing

Getty Images

The landscape in professional wrestling is about to change this Memorial Day weekend. On Saturday in Las Vegas, a new player in the game will officially step onto the scene as All Elite Wrestling debuts with its AEW Double or Nothing event. While WWE is still the unquestioned big dog (pun intended) in the sports entertainment industry, the hope for some is that the emergence of AEW will lead to WWE battling its first bit of legitimate competition for the first time since the dissolution of WCW in 2001. 

Still in its infancy as it prepares to present its first event, though, there's a lot to learn about this startup wrestling promotion that has the entire world buzzing. So with Double or Nothing on the horizon, let's begin with the basics of what everyone should know about All Elite Wrestling for newcomers. 

1. Who owns/runs AEW?: When you've come across AEW in recent months, you've likely also heard references to the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars. That's because the promotion is financially backed by Jaguars owner Shahid Khan, whose son Tony, a longtime professional wrestling fan and a co-founder of AEW, serves as president of the company. The financial backing of the Khan family -- Shahid carries an estimated net worth of $6.6 billion -- is what has created a palpable amount of buzz for the company as it affords the opportunity to potentially lure stars away from WWE with the promise of lucrative, guaranteed contracts. 

2. Some of AEW's top stars won't just wrestle: While the Khan family makes sure the lights stay on in AEW, the concept of the company as a whole is the brainchild of The Elite, a group which consists of The Young Bucks, Cody and Kenny Omega. Upon the announcement of AEW, it was also revealed that not only had these four signed on to serve as top stars within the company but were all presented with executive vice president titles as part of their respective five-year deals. Cody's wife and female superstar, Brandi, also serves as AEW's chief brand officer. There are other initial hires serving in additional organizational roles. Make no mistake, as you can see in the interview with Tony Khan above, while The Elite will do its best to bring creative ideas to the table in an attempt to help AEW flourish, the final say on everything goes through him. 

3. AEW's TV deal brings nostalgia: What else makes AEW a potentially viable threat to WWE? Well, quite frankly, it will be available for television consumption on the biggest platform opposite WWE since ... well, WCW. Last week, the blockbuster announcement was made that AEW had linked up with WarnerMedia to air its weekly product on TNT later this year. Yes, the same TNT that served as the home of WCW Monday Nitro from 1995 until the company's demise and subsequent sale to McMahon and WWE in 2001. No premiere date has been revealed of yet as to when AEW will begin airing on TNT, but when it does, the growth of the promotion should really kick into high gear if all goes according to plan. Some fans have longed for a WCW-like alternative, and this partnership with WarnerMedia goes a long way in satisfying that desire. 

When it comes to a professional wrestling promotion experiencing sustainable success, you're only as good as your roster and how those talents are utilized, though. Well with some of the biggest names outside of WWE playing a vital role in the company's launch as well as partnerships struck with the AAA promotion in Mexico and the highly-innovative OWE in China, AEW largely has little reason to fail to deliver with the talent at its disposal. Let's now have a look at the entire roster of talent you can look forward to watching in AEW, all of whom will be showcased in some form or another at Double or Nothing on Saturday. 

AEW men's roster

  • "Hangman" Adam Page
  • Angelico
  • Brandon Cutler
  • Chris Jericho
  • Christopher Daniels
  • Chuck Taylor
  • CIMA
  • Cody
  • Darby Allin
  • Fenix
  • Frankie Kazarian
  • Jack Evans
  • Jimmy Havoc
  • Joey Janela
  • Jungle Boy
  • Kenny Omega
  • Kip Sabian
  • Matt Jackson
  • MJF
  • Michael Nakazawa
  • Nick Jackson
  • PAC (fka Neville)
  • Penta El Zero M
  • "The Librarian" Peter Avalon
  • Private Party
  • Sammy Guevara
  • Sean Spears (fka Tye Dillinger)
  • Scorpio Sky
  • Sonny Kiss
  • Trent Beretta

AEW women's roster

  • Allie
  • Bea Priestley
  • Brandi Rhodes
  • Britt Baker
  • Hikaru Shida
  • Kylie Rae
  • "The Librarian" Leva Bates
  • Nyla Rose
  • Penelope Ford

AEW broadcast team

  • Jim Ross
  • Alex Marvez
  • Excalibur

All Elite Wrestling certainly has all the pieces in place to eventually live up to the hype its produced, and it all begins this Saturday night with the Double or Nothing event inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas (8 p.m. ET on traditional pay-per-view and the Bleacher Report Live streaming service for $49.99). But as wrestling fans prepare to watch the debut this weekend, realize that more shows have already been planned prior to AEW making its television debut later in 2019, and you can view the full AEW schedule below. 

AEW 2019 schedule


Double or Nothing

Saturday, May 25

Las Vegas, Nevada

Fyter Fest

Saturday, June 29

Daytona Beach, Florida

Fight for the Fallen

Saturday, July 13

Jacksonville Florida

Jack joined CBS Sports in 2018 as an editor and writer covering college football, combat sports and golf. He was raised to love the New York Yankees unconditionally since birth and firmly believes a four-team... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories