AEW Dynamite: 4 Wrestlers Who Could Walk Through the Forbidden Door

During last Friday's AEW Rampage, Tony Khan revealed that, this week on AEW Dynamite, a top wrestling star will debut for the company, facing Isiah Kassidy in a qualifying match for the Face of the Revolution ladder match at the upcoming AEW PPV.

Who will it be? To get to the bottom of the mystery, we deployed one of modern media's most important investigative journalism tools: the listicle. Here are 4 wrestlers who could walk through the Forbidden Door on AEW Dynamite this Wednesday.

Keith Lee

Keith Lee is the safe bet for Tony Khan's Wednesday surprise. Lee fits the mold of an AEW signee: a wrestler beloved by fans for his indy workrate and talent, successful in NFT, but wasted after his main roster callup and ultimately fired before being given the chance to reach his full potential. Aleister Black and Andrade spring to mind as recent signees who fit that same mold. One could argue that Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly would have also fit that mold if they had been called up to the main roster, but they wisely left early. In any case, Keith Lee would fit right in at AEW, and he seems like the most likely choice to show up on AEW Dynamite this week.

Keith Lee appears on WWE's The Bump podcast... could he walk through the Forbidden Door on AEW Dynamite this Wednesday?
Keith Lee appears on WWE's The Bump podcast… could he walk through the Forbidden Door on AEW Dynamite this Wednesday?

Jeff Hardy

Another free agent who could walk through the Forbidden Door and slam it shut behind him is Jeff Hardy. Hardy was recently released by WWE when he refused to go to rehab after erratic behavior at a house show. Since then, rumor has it Hardy passed his drug test and then refused an offer to resign with WWE and be inducted into the Hall of Fame. A conspiracy-minded person might believe that Hardy staged walking out of a house show match just to get fired so he could join his brother Matt in AEW. And the pair are already teaming up on the indies. The biggest obstacle to Jeff Hardy walking out on AEW Dynamite is the 90-Day non-compete clause all WWE talent are subject to, with Hardy's not up until early March.

But that clause has long been considered legally questionable, and in that context, the following tweet by Khan actually makes more sense if the signee is Hardy and not Lee:

Jeff Hardy appears on WWE Smackdown... could he walk through the Forbidden Door on AEW Dynamite on Wednesday?
Jeff Hardy appears on WWE Smackdown… could he walk through the Forbidden Door on AEW Dynamite on Wednesday?

Athena (FKA Ember Moon)

Another wrestler whose non-compete clause has recently ended is Athena, formerly known as Ember Moon in WWE. Moon was one of many wrestlers fired in November in the same batch of "cost-cutting" releases as Keith Lee. Athena also fits a similar mold, successful in NXT and loved by fans, but misused on the main roster (though it does seem like WWE may have tried a little harder with her than they did with Lee). AEW's men's roster is already quite full, with some contracted talent left with no TV time. The women's division, however, is less developed, especially in the area of skilled veterans with established star power. Athena would make the perfect addition to the AEW roster.

Ember Moon appears on WWE NXT in 2021... could she walk through the Forbidden Door on AEW Dynamite this Wednesday?
Ember Moon appears on WWE NXT in 2021… could she walk through the Forbidden Door on AEW Dynamite this Wednesday?

Shane McMahon

Shane McMahon was recently "let go" from WWE after shouldering the blame for a poorly-received men's Royal Rumble match, which he reportedly produced. "Sources" inside WWE have been sending out strong signals that Shane is difficult to work with through their contacts at various dirt sheets, seemingly in an attempt to disparage Vince McMahon's large adult son in hopes that another wrestling company won't hire him. Shane may have been working for WWE without a contract, and therefore, he might not be subject to a non-compete clause. A McMahon showing up on AEW Dynamite would be a huge publicity moment, and McMahon could make for a great heel personality in the company. It seems highly unlikely, but stranger things have happened. If Shane McMahon does show up on AEW Dynamite, however, we'd have to seriously question whether the whole backstage drama with Shane was a work, and whether WWE and AEW are in cahoots to bring more publicity to the wrestling business.

Shane McMahon appears at the Royal Rumble... could he walk through the Forbidden Door on AEW Dynamite this Wednesday?
Shane McMahon appears at the Royal Rumble… could he walk through the Forbidden Door on AEW Dynamite this Wednesday?

All of that said… it will probably be Keith Lee. We'll find out soon…

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Jude TerrorAbout Jude Terror

A prophecy claims that in the comic book industry's darkest days, a hero would come to lead the people through a plague of overpriced floppies, incentive variant covers, #1 issue reboots, and super-mega-crossover events. Unfortunately, nobody can tell when the comics industry has reached its "darkest days" because it somehow keeps finding new lows to sink to. No matter! Jude Terror stands vigilant, bringing the snarkiest of comic book and pro wrestling clickbait to the undeserving readers of Bleeding Cool.
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