Odds on Which WWE Star Will Jump Ship to AEW, Is CM Punk on His Way?
On May 25th, the wrestling landscape changed for the better when All Elite Wrestling held their first ever PPV. Not only was it filled with plenty of in-ring action and surprises, it was also a huge success with fans, pundits, and the wrestling industry as a whole. For the last few weeks, speculations of who will join the promotion next has become the hot topic among pro wrestling cyber-dirt sheets, websites, and fans. The debut of Jon Moxley, formerly known as Dean Ambrose in the WWE, was a huge shift in the industry from the monopoly of the WWE to All Elite Wrestling being a viable alternative and competition within the business.
With that said, pro wrestling betting sites are picking up on this buzz and offering prop bets on who might sign with AEW next. From current WWE superstars to former stars like CM Punk, these wrestling prop bets have some intriguing betting options. Now that we’ve made our ring entrance let’s take a look at these prop bets and see where we can make some money.
Which WWE Superstar Will Sign With AEW First?
- Dolph Ziggler (+200)
- Finn Balor (+275)
- Shinsuke Nakamura (+300)
- Luke Harper (+450)
- Sasha Banks (+1000)
- Rusev (+1000)
- The Revival (+1000)
As mentioned, Jon Moxley signing with the AEW was huge. He was one of the biggest names in free agency and chose not to re-sign with the WWE in order to pursue other opportunities. AEW was one of those opportunities and his appearance at the end of the Double or Nothing PPV shook up the wrestling world. Moxley attacked Kenny Omega, Chris Jericho, and the referee. He set up a feud with Omega, which has fans salivating at their future matches. He also gave the AEW PPV the perfect punctuation on their debut.
However, Moxley wasn’t the only recently departed WWE star to appear at the PPV. Shawn Spears, formerly known as Tye Dillinger in the WWE, has also officially signed with AEW. Although his appearance wasn’t as mind blowing as Moxley’s, he is a great addition to a growing roster. AEW’s second episode of “The Road to Fyter Fest” details the signing of Spears.
Dustin Rhodes, formerly known as Goldust in the WWE, also left the WWE to join his brother Cody Rhodes in AEW. They fought against each other on the PPV and had the match of the night, in my opinion. Dustin looked 20 years younger, with an incredible performance that left him bleeding all over the ring. He will be an active part of the AEW, and he’s just one more example of a former WWE superstar leaving for greener pastures.
With that said, let’s examine the betting options above and see which current WWE star will be the next wrestler to sign with All Elite Wrestling.
Dolph Ziggler (+200)
If anyone on this list deserves to be freed from the WWE tyranny, it would be Dolph Ziggler. The immensely talented wrestler has been with the WWE since 2004 when he was a “caddie” and then a member of The Spirit Squad. It would take a few years before he could sustain a solo career, but he quickly proved his overall talents. Ziggler worked his way up the ladder to the upper echelon of the roster before being dropped back down into obscurity.
Last year, he was teamed up with Drew McIntyre, and they created a buzz within the WWE Universe. The duo were quite the tag-team and an imposing force on both TV shows. However, in typical WWE fashion, they split up Ziggler and McIntyre with Drew getting the better end of the split. After that, McIntyre continued his solo success while Ziggler was held off TV and PPVs for over four months.
During his absence, rumors began to swirl that Ziggler’s days were numbered in the WWE. Fans were hoping that the talented superstar would finally leave the WWE and head to another promotion where he would be treated better. Additionally, there were reports that his contract had ended. Pro Wrestling reports that Ziggler addressed the contract situation in mid-March with the following comments:
“Technically, I am (under contract), yes. It’s weird because for the last two years I’ve had somewhat of a handshake agreement, kind of behind closed doors deal with WWE. I’ve been able to do a lot of things, on my own, not at WWE, just because of the relationship we’ve had for the last 14 years. I have a bit of a handshake agreement right now, but we’ll know some more details in the coming months.”
During his on-air absence, Ziggler tried his hand at standup comedy. By all accounts, he fared well. But, with his return to WWE TV in late May, fans are once again worried that the WWE will use Ziggler and then forget about him for the hundredth time.
Currently, Ziggler is involved in a bitter feud with World Champ Kofi Kingston. Ziggler’s storyline is that he believes Kofi’s title reign should’ve went to him instead. And a lot of fans agree. However, Kofi-mania was a legit wave of support that carried Kingston to the world title. Unfortunately, Ziggler will never have that kind of support, partly because the WWE won’t allow it to happen.
Without any further details about Ziggler’s contract, one would have to question whether or not the WWE has him locked up for the next few years. If they haven’t already, I would imagine that the WWE makes a lucrative offer to Ziggler as the company does everything they can to prevent superstars from leaving for AEW.
Finn Balor (+275)
Balor’s inclusion on this list is a bit surprising. Of all the names mentioned as a betting option, Balor has been the one superstar with the least amount of negative attention backstage. Fans were upset with a lack of direction for Balor heading into 2019. However, since the turn of the year, Finn Balor has been involved in major storylines and has become the Intercontinental champion.
With that said, fans would love to see Balor return to his Prince Devitt roots and leave the WWE for promotions where he can become the top star. A return to New Japan and a run with All Elite Wrestling would be great for Balor. Nevertheless, of all the wrestlers on this list, he’s the least likely to leave anytime soon.
Avoid this betting option for now.
Shinsuke Nakamura (+300)
Nakamura was a world class superstar before going to the WWE. His international success made him a highly sought after wrestler. Upon his joining the WWE, it was believed that Nakamura signed a three-year contract, which means he would be finishing up that deal very soon. Armed with that speculation, fans began pushing for the idea of Nakamura leaving the WWE and returning to Japan or going over to AEW.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that either scenario is going to happen anytime soon. The premiere wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer said two months ago that Nakamura was staying with the WWE. It’s hard to imagine that Meltzer would’ve gotten this news completely wrong, considering his deep-rooted contacts within the WWE.
I imagine that the WWE offered Shinsuke Nakamura more money than he could’ve made anywhere else and he decided to take that financial security for himself and his family. Nakamura recently stated that he plans on wrestling for five more years, which will make him 45. At this stage in his career, other than a WWE world title, Nakamura has nothing left to prove in the business. So, I certainly wouldn’t fault the superstar if he decided to take the money.
As for this bet, I also feel that Nakamura is an option to avoid. All signs point to Shinsuke re-signing with the WWE and enjoying those paychecks. Let’s just hope that the WWE finally sees Nakamura for what he’s really worth and, once again, makes him a main-event star.
Luke Harper (+450)
One of the best big men in pro wrestling is currently toiling away in the WWE. Harper missed a significant amount of time recently due to an injury. When he had to wait for the WWE to come up with a creative storyline for his return, Harper grew frustrated and asked for his release. Instead of letting him walk, or even just letting things calm down, the WWE decided to tack on more time to his contract to make up for the months he missed because of an injury.
— Luke Harper of WWE (@LukeHarperWWE) April 16, 2019
Yes, the WWE wants to hold Luke Harper a prisoner for even longer. They added six months to his contract according to reports. It’s a disgusting business practice, but one that’s within their legal rights. However, it just adds to the rapidly-increasing decline in locker room morale. In other words, treating Harper like this will most likely hurt the WWE’s chances to re-sign other superstars when their contracts are close to expiring.
As for Harper, his contract is now believed to end right around WrestleMania 36. The former tag-team champ and former member of the Wyatt Family will be a highly sought after free agent next spring. It’s believed he will go back to his Indies’ wrestling name of Brodie Lee.
With a timeline set for next spring, is there any other WWE superstar who could depart from the WWE before then and head to AEW?
Sasha Banks (+1000)
Sasha Banks is credited as being one of the superstars that helped create the women’s revolution in the WWE. Her talents, along with Flair and Lynch, really changed the entire landscape for women in the WWE. Since being called up from NXT, Banks has been a major star for the main roster. Unfortunately, her frustrations with the company came to a head at WM 35 this year when she was very upset with the WWE for taking the tag-team titles off her and Bayley. Banks has been absent from the WWE since then, and there’s no word on when she might be coming back.
She reportedly had a meeting with Vince McMahon at the end of May and she recently filmed for the WWE 2K20 video game. That doesn’t sound like someone completely against returning to the company. However, we can’t ignore that Banks tried to quit the WWE at WM 35 due to the title change and the possible knowledge of the tag team being split up. Whether she knew this or not, Bayley went MIA for a few days and has not been on-air since then.
As for her contract, it’s believed that Banks signed a multi-year deal last May. So, she’s most likely locked up for at least another year with the company. And that’s based on the speculation that she only signed a two-year deal last May. If she signed a deal for longer than two years, then Banks is going to be sitting at home for a long time before she can step back into a wrestling ring, unless she returns to the WWE. Let’s also not overlook the fact that the WWE can and most likely will add time to her contract for this recent departure. I doubt that they will let these months pass by without trying to add it to the end of her current deal.
Of all the betting options on this list, Banks is 100% not going to the AEW anytime soon.
Just like with his on-again, off-again tag team partner Nakamura, Rusev is another incredibly underutilized talent within the WWE. At this point last year, Rusev was one of the most “over” wrestlers on SmackDown. Instead of building on that support, like they did with Kofi Kingston this year, the WWE decided to just ignore it and basically bury Rusev in obscurity. Case in point, Rusev hasn’t won a match on TV since the beginning of 2019, and he hasn’t been consistently seen on TV in quite some time. Ringside News reports that Rusev expressed his frustrations over how the WWE is handling him back in February:
“I think that it was WrestleMania last year when the whole Rusev Day thing started and I thought it was my time. I keep pushing for it to be my time, and I keep talking to everybody, but nobody wants to do anything. I mean it’s very frustrating but still as frustrating as it is it’s like, ‘Alright, let’s go to the gym. Let’s get better. Let’s do whatever we can. Let’s get this Trifecta meal plan on, let’s get that, let’s [get] a trainer, let’s try freakin’ CrossFit!’ Holy crap, CrossFit! It’s terrible! I’m doing that now. Anything to look better, so you know eventually… cause I don’t know what is holding me back, to be honest. I really, really don’t.”
Rusev makes a great heel, and with his real life wife Lana, the superstar can really be a main event player in any company. Unfortunately, the WWE doesn’t seem to agree with this opinion. Instead, they’d rather do nothing with Rusev and let another talented, “over” superstar sit on the sideline and collect a paycheck instead of pushing him.
Rusev’s contract also seems to be working against him. Reports have surfaced that Rusev upped his deal with the WWE in 2017 for three years. That means, he will be locked in until mid-to-late 2020. I would expect Luke Harper to be gone before Rusev. Additionally, it’s hard to imagine Rusev leaving the WWE without his wife Lana. And right now, it’s unclear as to how much time she has on her current deal.
The Revival (+1000)
It feels like a lot of the contractual chaos within the WWE started with The Revival earlier this year. In January, it was reported that The Revival asked for their release after the despicable way the WWE was booking them in on-air storylines. The WWE turned down the request for release, which was a smart thing to do. Then, the WWE put the tag titles on them for a few months.
In April, the WWE approached The Revival and offered them five-year deals worth $500K per year. The Revival respectfully turned down the deals. The rejection didn’t sit well with the WWE, and they decided to bury The Revival on television with storylines that make many outsiders question the WWE’s business ethics. In today’s era, having two guys shave each other’s back in the showers isn’t an entertaining segment like it may have been in the Attitude Era. Then, follow that up with a storyline that the Usos put itching powder in The Revival’s wrestling trunks, and you have some terrible on-air angles.
Over the last few weeks, since the angle in the video above, The Revival have seen a slight uptick in their on-air relevancy. They just won the tag titles once again, but it just goes to show the WWE’s lack of continuity with storylines and a lack of long-term vision. In other words, nobody knows what the WWE is doing, not even the writers themselves.
As far as I can tell, The Revival’s contracts won’t expire until April 2020. And the WWE added two months to the end of Dash Wilder’s contract due to his two-month absence with a broken jaw last year. So, instead of leaving at the expiration, Wilder will at least have to sit around for two more months.
Like with Luke Harper, don’t expect The Revival to sign with AEW or any other promotion until probably the summer of 2020 after their no-compete clause runs out.
Who Will Jump Ship From WWE to AEW?
After looking at the options on this list, Dolph Ziggler makes the most sense based on the current scenarios with each other betting option. I wish they would’ve given us an option to bet on “Other,”
because I believe Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson will most likely be the next WWE superstars to appear on All Elite Wrestling.
Gallows and Anderson turned down recent contract offers that were rumored to be multi-million dollar contracts. Their current deals are set to expire in September. And it just makes perfect sense for Gallows and Anderson to head to AEW and back to New Japan after their WWE deals expire. They have a great relationship with The Young Bucks dating back to their days in New Japan with The Bullet Club.
For this bet, I cautiously take Dolph Ziggler as the option to wager on. However, if we hear of contract details coming out in the near future, then jump on Luke Harper.
Will CM Punk Appear at the All Out PPV on Aug 31st?
- Yes (-220)
- No (+155)
It’s a surprise to see CM Punk with odds this high for appearing at the All Out PPV in August. Yes, the event will be in his backyard of Chicago, but CM Punk seems rather content in staying involved with MMA despite not fighting anymore.
With that said, if I were booking AEW, I wouldn’t bring CM Punk onto any shows until the first episode of the AEW TV show in October. Give the fans something to really get excited for. Make an announcement at the All Out PPV that Punk will debut in October. But save his first appearance for something that could really benefit from it—TV ratings.
This bet is an easy “no” for me. Right now, I just don’t see any reason for CM Punk to appear on the PPV other than it’s near his home and the fans want it. For business purposes, waiting until October’s show makes the most sense for all parties involved.
I’m taking the value with No at +155 for this prop bet. But, if he does return to pro wrestling at the All Out PPV, you can expect a “pop” louder than the one in this video below.
Final Thoughts on These AEW Prop Bets
As a wrestling fan, I am excited for All Elite Wrestling and the competition that it will bring to the industry. I’m also disgusted with the WWE and their treatment of superstars. Additionally, just about every week, I somehow find myself trashing their creative writing team on our YouTube show “The Payoff.”
With that said, I’m not comfortable with any of the betting options in the first prop bet. However, I would love to see Ziggler and Harper both in AEW. I think they’re exactly what the promotion needs for depth and star power.
As for CM Punk, as much as I would like to see him back in pro wrestling, he’s done a great job at muddying the waters on a potential return. For every time he says he’s focused on MMA only, Punk will tweet about pro wrestling and AEW. I believe there’s a real chance he could join the company on a very friendly deal, but like I said above, it makes the most sense to save this appearance until the TV show in October.
Catch more of my pro wrestling analysis from storylines to wrestling betting odds on our weekly show The Payoff.