New details are being revealed on WWE reaching out to contracted AEW talents.
We noted last week how Swerve Strickland was one of the names contacted by WWE. A new report from Fightful Select notes that Strickland referred WWE to his attorney, and had no interest in returning to the company at the time.
It was speculated that WWE Chief Content Officer Triple H may want to bring Strickland back when he brought the other Hit Row members back, and now it’s been confirmed that Strickland was contacted as a part of the pitch for Hit Row’s return.
Despite rumors, word is that Strickland’s tag team partner Keith Lee has not been contacted by WWE, at least as of now.
On a related note, it was reported last week via Wrestling Observer’s Ryan Frederick that Bobby Fish tried to get Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly to leave AEW for WWE, shortly before Fish’s AEW contract expired at the end of August. Now this new Fightful report says multiple AEW sources have vehemently denied this, an WWE sources have said there have not been talks between Fish and the company.
There have been online rumors about Miro possibly being contacted by WWE, but those are just rumors. Miro also has not asked for his AEW release, according to the report.
Regarding Malakai Black, who reportedly received a conditional release from AEW earlier this month so that he can take time off for personal issues, word is that when he asked for his AEW release, several AEW higher-ups thought he only asked for the release so that he could go to WWE. Black reportedly told at least one WWE talent that he wished he was back with the company.
AEW officials reportedly thought the Black situation had been smoothed over before All Out, but that obviously was not the case. At least one AEW source believes we’ll end up seeing Black and Buddy Matthews back in AEW within a few months, and that AEW had no intent of releasing Black so that he can go elsewhere. Black was issued the conditional release from AEW as he needed time away to deal with personal issues, but he had several years left on a five-year contract, and it’s believed that one of the conditions to his release is that he is unable to wrestle for WWE while away from AEW. There had been talk of Black possibly being done with the business, but he addressed the rumors after a Prestige Wrestling indie event on September 17, and promised he was not saying goodbye. Black then issued a lengthy Instagram statement on his status and future.
It was reported last week that WWE also sent feelers to IWGP, AAA & ROH World Tag Team Champions FTR, plus one more un-named AEW Original. As we’ve noted, it was recently revealed how AEW officials contacted WWE to warn them about contract tampering.
Stay tuned to WrestlingHeadlines.com for more.