When World Wrestling Entertainment hands out pink slips, AEW owner Tony Khan gets his black ink pen ready. It’s no secret that the AEW roster has been quickly filled up with many of the recent WWE castaways. Legends like Sting, Paul Wight, and Mark Henry were quickly brought on board when their contracts expired. Meanwhile, younger stars like Miro and Andrade have also been brought into the AEW mix.
Expect more signings to come, as stars like Braun Strowman, Aleister Black, and C.J. ‘Lana’ Perry (Miro’s wife) will soon be available. You can bet that AEW will take a crack at a couple of those names, as well.
Having said that, there are also a few members of the AEW ranks that need to be let go in order to make room for the new batch that will inevitably be arriving. Not only for economic reasons but just to make space on AEW Dynamite and AEW Rampage as well.
Let’s face it: There are some folks who are just taking up space on the ‘main’ roster. And AEW Dark should probably be used to help elevate the younger stars that many of us have never seen. So which mid-level veterans should AEW cut loose?
#1 – Joey Janela
The ‘Bad Boy’ has been just that… Bad.
Joey Janela was never really a good fit for the AEW roster, as he seems to be trapped in the mold of a guy who has somehow made a name for himself while having no discernible skills whatsoever.
While his teaming with Sonny Kiss has led to some interesting vignettes, Janela has mostly been a tackling dummy in the ring. He’s failed to rack up any significant victories in AEW and hasn’t really registered with the fan base, either.
Janela is really more of a ‘high indy’ guy and better suited for the likes of Game Changer Wrestling or Combat Zone Wrestling. He’s not a network wrestling star, because he doesn’t have the look or skills to be. Janela should be the first to go if AEW has a group of departures.
#2 – Luther
There’s not much more to say on this one. Luther is a 50-something wrestler from Canada who never really made it until he got a break from his buddy, Chris Jericho.
Now he’s basically drawing a salary just to take up space. And it doesn’t appear that he will ever do any more than that.
Since arriving in AEW, Luther has done nothing to add to the program, constantly loses his matches, and is a signal to viewers to turn the channel. His character is supposed to be odd and a little macabre but just comes off as silly and outdated.
Luther may be the nicest guy in the world, but any time he takes up on AEW programming is wasted. He’s way past the point in his career where he has an ‘upside’, and his current status isn’t that great to begin with.
He needs to go.
#3 – Colt Cabana
Colt Cabana‘s appearances seem few and far between, as you rarely even see him with Dark Order anymore.
Cabana’s comedy act may add a little levity to the show once in a while. But at the end of the day, he’s simply an overpriced mid-carder. AEW is simply paying for his name and reputation on the independent level.
And that’s just what Cabana is: an indie wrestling star… Not a professional wrestling, ready-for-primetime, television celebrity. He will never advance to main event status, nor be in serious contention for something like the TNT title.
While Cabana once had a certain amount of underground attention thrust upon him several years ago, those days are over now. It would be better now to just turn him loose and give his TV time to someone with more of an upside.
#4 – Leva Bates
‘The Librarian’ brings almost nothing when it comes to an in-ring reputation in AEW. Leva Bates has rarely been seen. And when she is, she’s typically on the losing end of the other side of the bell. Her gimmick is ridiculous and in no way intimidating.
However, Bates does do outside projects for AEW and acts as a spokesperson for the company on other in other forms of media. So, she could probably bring something to the table in other ways. She’s certainly not worthless, but likely more of an asset by being off the air.
Maybe she can be retained by the company to work on other platforms. Nonetheless, as an active wrestler, she really has no place on the AEW roster.
#5 – Peter Avalon
Much like his friend Leva Bates, this once-promising prospect entered AEW with a silly ‘librarian’ gimmick. The two would argue over who rightfully held that position (as if anyone cared), before finally agreeing to work together. Needless to say, it did nothing for either of them.
Since then, ‘Pretty’ Peter Avalon has hardly been seen, save for a match with Cody Rhodes a few months ago. And when he is on screen? It’s usually in some silly skit or a comedic cameo. He’s not even taken seriously as a performer.
Sadly, there were about a million other ways that AEW could have brought him into the fold. But they chose this one. Now, he’s almost disappeared as part of the rarely featured faction, The Wingmen.
Avalon has not regained any of the momentum he had as a star prospect in Championship Wrestling From Hollywood. It’s time for him to move on to greener pastures, and perhaps AEW could re-sign him sometime down the road.
These names would be a good start to trim some of the extra fat that the AEW roster currently has.
They need to make room – in both salary space and TV time – for the free agents that are out there now. And for the ones that may be available in the near future.
With more major names soon to be available, AEW now has the chance now to clear some dead weight and then build one of the strongest and deepest lineups of all time.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can catch AEW Dynamite Wednesday nights at 8 PM ET on TNT and AEW Dark: Elevation (Monday nights) and AEW: Dark (Tuesday nights) at 7 PM ET on YouTube.
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