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WWE Must Sign Big Swole and Open the AEW-to-WWE Pipeline

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistDecember 4, 2021

All Elite Wrestling

When it comes to movement between WWE and All Elite Wrestling, it understandably focuses on the former losing talent to the latter.

But maybe that should change—starting with Big Swole.

Swole's AEW contract recently ran out after a strong showing with the upstart company. She wasn't consistently featured on programming because of health issues, but crowds consistently offered up huge organic reactions that painted her as one of the company's next big things in the women's division.

On paper, Swole would be a brilliant pickup for WWE. The women's division is solid but has typically thrown the same names in title scenes. And when new faces do get involved, such as a Bianca Belair, they are usually quickly cut back down in favor Charlotte Flair or Becky Lynch.

The natural charisma, ability to connect with fans and sheer in-ring ability Swole presents would be a boon for WWE's women's division.

As a disclaimer, it's a little odd to think about WWE adding anyone right now because the company has released around 80 performers this year. But let's not pretend the company wouldn't add big-time talent if given the chance—and Swole classifies as such.

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Part of this simply has to do with simply opening the pipeline too. Not floodgates, but a slow trickle. AEW is big enough, roster-wise, that there are Superstars going somewhat underused who could do much bigger things with different companies, primarily WWE.

There are plenty of good examples on what appears to be a growing list. Think Joey Janela, who could benefit from getting more work, or elements of the Dark Order, who don't necessarily have solo upside within AEW's system.

Even bigger guys like Lance Archer and Powerhouse Hobbs, who have shown with AEW and other promotions that they can serve as main event fodder as big bads, could freshen up a WWE title scene that desperately needs some new faces.

It could be familiar faces too. Jeff Hardy keeps talking about a reunion with his brother, Matt, but what's to say that has to be Jeff leaving WWE for AEW? Matt, after all, has infrequently appeared as his career winds down, and a Hardy Boyz reunion would simply be bigger in WWE.

There's another angle to consider too: storyline potential. If someone as notable as Swole leaves AEW and winds up in WWE, it lends credibility to any Superstars who loop that idea into their character work. And let's be honest, a heel like MJF seems almost guaranteed to pull off a storyline about his contract expiring soon and his fielding free-agent offers from the "big leagues" to emphasize how much AEW needs him.

That fun thought aside, AEW wouldn't hurt much from this sort of pipeline opening. It doesn't have to worry about main guys like CM Punk, Jon Moxley or Kenny Omega running off to WWE. Everybody knows which company offers more creative freedom, an easier schedule and that WWE has its pre-determined top guys who won't get pushed aside, to name but a few of the advantages.

AEW is starting to suffer a bit from roster bloat, though. Losing one or two names and focusing on those who remain could help everyone. And those Superstars who leave could benefit from more television time with WWE, which has many programming hours to fill every week.

Looping back to Swole, it's almost fitting that she could be the first. Her incredibly fast rise in AEW, which started at All Out back in 2019 and hit a high point when she took down Britt Baker on pay-per-view last year, is something she might be able to replicate on a stage like WWE.

At this point, the pipeline running in WWE's direction seems inevitable. It could benefit the companies in specific ways and the Superstars involved. Big Swole makes a ton of sense on this front, and WWE would be wise to consider the idea.

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