15 WWE Wrestlers You Might Recognize When AEW Debuts in Tampa
Pro wrestling has a deep history in Tampa. Old time rasslin’ fans will remember the days when Dusty Rhodes had crowds going wild at The Armory long before there was ever a WrestleMania. Fans of the 80’s got to see Clearwater’s Hulk Hogan take the popularity of pro wrestling to a new level. And even in the past decade, many of the stars you see now on Monday Night Raw got their training and reps in at a little warehouse on Dale Mabry before NXT was created in Orlando.
Now a new challenger to Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment has emerged. AEW (All Elite Wrestling) debuted a few years ago up in Jacksonville. Wrestlers who were unhappy with the direction pro wrestling was going in created a new league and eventually landed a TV deal with TNT and TBS.
The owner has deep pocked and has recruited many familiar WWE stars. It’s reminiscent of when Ted Turner got the checkbook out and brought Hulk Hogan, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and other WWF stars to boost his World Championship Wrestling ratings. The new Ted Turner is Tony Khan. He’s the son of the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
For longtime WWE fans, you’ll recognize a lot of familiar faces even if you haven’t watched AEW yet. Some have had to change their names because they are owned by WWE. But here are 15 of the more recognizable faces you might see when Tony Khan’s AEW makes its Tampa debut at USF at the Yuengling Center August 2.