AEW officials reportedly chose not to renew contracts for Awesome Kong and Shanna.
There was some speculation on Kong and Shanna after their profiles were removed from the AEW roster page over the weekend. Now Dave Meltzer of F4Wonline.com has confirmed that their contracts were not renewed.
It was noted by Fightful Select that word going around as far back as April said Shanna was not expected back, and that there were some issues with her and other wrestlers in the company, namely extras and how they felt treated by her. Regarding Kong, their report nooted that her departure was expected by some as she hadn’t been working the coaching role that was originally discussed for her as well.
Shanna originally debuted for AEW on October 30, 2019 with a Dynamite loss to Hikaru Shida. She took some time off from AEW due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but returned in November 2020 with a Dark win over Tesha Price. Her last AEW match came on Elevation in early April, a loss to Leyla Hirsch.
Kong made her AEW debut at Double Or Nothing 2019, competing in a Fatal 4 Way with Kylie Rae, Nyla Rose and the winner, new AEW Women’s World Champion Britt Baker. She worked the Casino Battle Royale at All Out 2019, defeated Leva Bates on a November 2019 Dark episode, then defeated Miranda Alize on the December 18, 2019 Dynamite show, and had her last AEW match on Dark in early January 2020, a win over Skyler Moore. She had a few other non-match appearances and also participated with the “AEW Heels” brand.
It was reported in February 2020 that Kong had taken time away from AEW to film G.L.O.W. for Netflix, but the final season of that show was nixed in October 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
AEW Chief Brand Officer Brandi Rhodes spoke with TV Insider in August 2020 and was asked if Kong would be making a return to the company.
“She is very passionate about wrestling and this business,” Brandi said of Kong. “She is very much still a part of things behind the scenes. A lot of the women love seeing her on the ‘Heels’ calls because she is one of the women that really gets on and is a big part of that. Sometimes Dustin holds virtual training sessions on the weeks we’re not all together. She is always on for those. She is ingrained in our world. We miss her right now for sure. The pandemic was a problem, but now I think her and the rest of the cast have continued production on GLOW. We will see her soon hopefully. I’m very excited to see that season of GLOW because I’ve been a really big fan of the show.”
There’s no official word yet on why Kong and Shanna’s were not renewed, or what the future holds for them, but we will keep you updated.