Before the advent of All Elite Wrestling, Triple H purportedly offered The Elite big money to join WWE according to AEW star Matt Hardy.
2018 was a pivotal year in the wrestling industry as the sport arguably reached the peak of its popularity since WWE bought out its competition in WCW in 2001.
Ring Of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling became white-hot as both promotions built various feuds around members of The Elite. The Young Bucks brought tag team wrestling back to the mainstream while Kenny Omega’s feud ongoing feud with Kazuchika Okada made NJPW as popular as it ever has been outside Japan.
With the world at their feet, The Elite which also included former WWE star Cody Rhodes and current AEW World Champion Hangman Adam Page had some serious decisions to make regarding their future.
According to Matt Hardy on The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy podcast, Triple H spearheaded WWE’s bid to the group, seemingly offering big money to get the group to cross the wrestling divide:
“But I do know that Triple H, Trips was all over those guys as far as trying to bring them [The Elite] in, and they offered them a ton of money.”
Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks put their money where their mouth was in September 2018 when they self-funded the independent All In show which featured some of the best independent talent as well as wrestling stars from ROH and NJPW.
This show and The Elite sticking together in their next move ultimately led to the formation of All Elite Wrestling which was announced on New Year’s Day 2019.