Tony Khan and AEW have had a challenging summer, which has led to some wrestlers reportedly wanting out of their contracts with the company. A recent report indicates that All Elite Wrestling doesn’t intend to release performers from their contracts early and has made that clear. It’s a hardline stance by Khan, but probably a line in the sand that should have been drawn sooner.
Based on at least one source, it’s clear that WWE attempted to raid some of AEW’s contracted wrestlers. Khan alluded to this during the post-All Out media scrum, indicating that he wasn’t happy with how the company has approached AEW since Triple H took over in late July. The co-founder and owner of All Elite Wrestling told gathered reporters that he wasn’t going to “sit back and take this f***ing s***.” He vowed to take the fight to WWE when the time came, and this new mandate might be the first step towards backing those statements up.
Speaking about Khan’s reaction to AEW wrestlers demanding their releases, Dave Meltzer had this to say on Wrestling Observer Radio: “Nobody’s getting released. That’s the doctrine. Tony Khan made that very clear, I guess, in the last couple of days.” Meltzer continued, stating that “[the WWE] really came after [Tony], it’s pretty blatant. [WWE] came after so many of the guys. Basically, everyone that had a previous relationship with Triple H was contacted.”
It had been rumored that WWE had made overtures to The Young Bucks, but Meltzer makes it sound like anyone who’s worked for Triple H was contacted. That’s a large chunk of AEW’s roster, including some of the biggest names, including Malakhai Black, Adam Cole, FTR, and Swerve In Our Glory. Khan didn’t take too kindly to WWE’s power play and let it be known that he won’t void any contracts moving forward. It’s worth noting that plenty of misinformation has been spread about certain wrestlers asking for and being granted their release.
Black recently appeared on Instagram to clarify why he’d stepped away from AEW and firmly stated that he’d be back with the company soon. There was also a rumor that Bobby Fish tried to lure Cole and Kyle O’Reilly back to WWE following his release, but everyone involved denied those claims. Miro is another former WWE star who had to clear the air following rumors about his being unhappy circulated as well. None of the “reports” or rumblings about AEW stars bailing for WWE have proven true since Triple H took over. It’s essential to take news with a grain of salt, especially when so many people on both sides of the fence have things to gain by spreading misinformation. Tony Khan has made his stance clear on releasing his wrestlers and won’t be letting AEW talent walk back to WWE easily.
Source: Wrestling Observer Radio