1) WWE has nothing to lose
Just a decade ago, the idea of a WWE star showing up on another event was seen as a non-starter. After all, why would they put any of their brand value towards another company? And by all indications, there isn't any working relationship in place with the All In folks, the way WWE has had relationships in the past with ECW or Ring Of Honor.
But let's consider that, since that time, WWE has allowed many of its stars to appear on independent shows. CM Punk, while still technically WWE Champion, appeared at an All American Wrestling show in 2011. A year later, Christian was loaned to TNA for its Slammiversary PPV to induct Sting into that promotion's Hall of Fame (which itself was part of a trade for allowing TNA's Ric Flair to show up at the WWE Hall of Fame that year). The Bruiserweight Pete Dunne has defended his WWE United Kingdom Championship on independent shows and even in larger indies such as Evolve.
Let's not forget as well that All In isn't truly a competitor. Even if they do well on pay-per-view, WWE's business model is now primarily based on network subscriptions and there's a healthy amount of overlap between the two audiences.
In brief, not only has WWE done similar things before, but it doesn't hurt their brand in any way.
This weekend, Cody and The Young Bucks present their All In pay-per-view from Chicago. Billed as the biggest independent wrestling show ever, the event has sold out a 10,000 seat arena and is likely to do better than many TNA or ROH shows have on PPV.
When Kevin Owens "quit" on Monday Night Raw this week, speculation began that KO would show up at the All In event. It quickly died down, though, with comments on social media along the lines of "WWE would never do that."
Here are five reasons why it's more plausible than you think.
3) It helps All In
Not to suggest that Cody and The Young Bucks necessarily need help making All In a success, but the unofficial endorsement of WWE could help legitimize it, particularly if they want to create future shows down the road.
While some will argue it commercializes the effort... they'd be best to agree now, before WWE deems the group as legitimate competition.
Five Reasons Why Kevin Owens Showing Up At All In
Isn't That Farfetched
5) It Could Salvage The Kevin Owens "Quitting" Storyline
Most "quitting" storylines in wrestling -- how do we put this mildly? -- absolutely suck. Earlier, we mentioned CM Punk's self-imposed WWE sabbatical in 2011. That lasted all of a few weeks. Same thing with Dolph Ziggler last year, when he left and reliquinshed his newly-won U.S. Championship and then randomly appeared in the Royal Rumble. Why?
But imagine if WWE acknowledges that Kevin Owens breached his WWE contract by appearing at "some independent show". Would that put him in hot water with Stephanie McMahon? Would he be able to parlay that into becoming a free agent? Perhaps he could convince Baron Corbin that he'd come back to WWE is they gave him a title shot?
Lots of possibilities there to distinguish this angle from others in the past.
4) It lays the groundwork for a potential interpromotional rivalry
Earlier this year, The New Day battled Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks in a video-game challenge. The event (covered by WWE.com among others) led fans to wonder what if this ever happened in the ring?
2) It helps Kevin Owens
Ever since Owens lost the Universal Championship early last year, his career has been in something of a rut. Even high-profile feuds with AJ Styles, Shane McMahon and Braun Strowman have done little to reinvigorate him. A run-in at All In could create a lot of buzz in a short period of time.
Is WWE likely to let a group of independent wrestlers do whatever they want in a rivalry with its superstars? Nope. But even if certain members of The Elite were to eventually head to WWE... a Kevin Owens run-in at All In could plan the seeds to make it look like an invasion angle is eventually going to happen.