All Elite Wrestling held its launch rally today in Jacksonville, Fla., at the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL. AEW is the brainchild of Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks, and financing from the Khan family, which owns the Jaguars and has a net worth of a reported $7 billion, made the company a reality.
AEW will run its second show — they’re counting All In as their first show — on May 25 in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The company is jumping in with both feet. The MGM Grand used to host WCW pay-per-views in the late-90s and it’s been the home of some of the biggest moments in professional boxing and MMA.
During the event, which was hosted by wrestling podcasting guru Conrad Thompson, AEW announced the “Double or Nothing” event while also confirming another show will be coming to Jacksonville.
AEW also began to unveil its talent roster. According to multiple reports, AEW has been aggressive in signing talent to six-figure holding deals that could be as long as four or five-year deals. Reports also suggest that AEW is in the midst of several television negotiations.
Announced as signings at the rally were Cody, the Young Bucks, SCU, MJF and Adam Page. Britt Baker is the company’s first female wrestler and Joey Janela announced he was joining the company along with Penelope Ford.
The biggest surprises came when PAC (the former Neville) seemed to challenge Page after he interrupted Page’s portion of the rally. At the end of the event, Chris Jericho made an appearance and then later posted a video of himself with Tony Khan, AEW’s president, signing his official AEW contract.
Tony Khan is the 36-year-old son of Jaguars owner Shad Khan.
“Wrestling fans are a community unlike most others,” Tony Khan said. “I’ve been a part of this community since I was 7 years old, and I can tell you that wrestling fans see the world every day through a special lens.”
“I am the lead investor, a supporter and a backer of All Elite Wrestling, and I anticipate great things today and into the future for AEW and everyone who has worked passionately on this week’s launch,” said Tony’s father, Shad Khan. “AEW will operate as an organization completely independently from my other interests. It will not deter attention or divert resources from any of my businesses, teams, projects or investments. At the same time, AEW will enjoy the same full commitment I given to everything and everyone in my life – my family and friends, my business and, in recent years, to sports, hospitality and now entertainment.”