Despite Vince McMahon's shocking return to WWE, Triple H is still behind the wheel creatively, at least for the foreseeable future.
The Game has been on an endless signing spree since taking over the creative helm last year. However, it's been a while since someone from AEW jumped ship to the Stamford-based promotion. Besides William Regal (who's no longer an active in-ring competitor), Cody Rhodes remains the biggest name to make the switch to this date.
With another name reportedly set to become a free agent, could Triple H capitalize on the opportunity and sign him to WWE? We'll also learn the future of Sting in AEW as the veteran approaches his impending in-ring retirement. With these lead stories, let's dive into the top three rumors you need to know this week.
#3. AEW star Brian Cage is set to become a free agent. Is he WWE bound?
Brian Cage's time with AEW might come to an end very soon. According to Fightful Select, the 38-year-old's contract will expire "in a matter of weeks." Should Cage not come to terms on a new agreement, he'll officially hit free agency.
It is noted that there are "feelers" within WWE to gauge possible interest in him, albeit there's no word on whether the two sides have an actual interest in holding talks.
As things stand, neither Brian Cage nor Tony Khan have reacted to these reports. In fact, The Machine is gearing up for a big match against Konosuke Takeshita on AEW Dynamite this week.
The company has been effectively using the former FTW Champion lately. It will be interesting to see if that factors into Cage inking a new deal.
#2. WWE Hall of Famer Sting's AEW contract expiry date revealed?
Sting has all but confirmed that he's planning to hang up his wrestling boots this year. The Icon recently affirmed that his AEW deal will expire later this year, though the exact date of his contract expiry is unknown. But rest assured that when his deal runs out, so will his time behind the grim face paint persona.
Dave Meltzer recently speculated that the 63-year-old's contract could expire in December 2023, which marks three years since his debut in the company:
"He’s been talking retirement a lot lately. I think him and Tony [Khan] have kind of figured out whatever it is, the way they’re going out, I don’t know exactly when but it will be—he said when his contract expires, so I’m going to guess if he signed—he came in around December I think, it was November or December a couple of years ago, so it’s probably towards the end of this year."
The WWE Hall of Famer is currently undefeated in All Elite Wrestling. He last competed at Full Gear pay-per-view, which saw him and Allin defeat Jay Lethal and Jeff Jarrett in a No-Disqualification Match.
Should Sting stay true to his words, it will be interesting to see who he passes the torch to in his last hurrah.
#1. Real reason behind Wardlow's AEW absence
Wardlow has been away from AEW since the "New Year Smash" episode of Dynamite late last year. That night, he unsuccessfully challenged Samoa Joe for the TNT Championship.
In the aftermath, the former WWE star humiliated Mr. Mayhem by cutting off his ponytail. The angle was probably done to write him off the television.
Dave Meltzer reported that Wardlow has been mending an injury, which has put him on the shelf lately:
"When Wardlow did the match where Samoa Joe took out his leg, the reason he hasn’t been back for revenge and dropped the TNT title is due to an injury issue. The stuff with Joe was done to set up his taking time off. The injury is not believed to be one that will keep him out of action for a long time”
With Revolution right around the corner, fans will be hopeful of seeing The Conductor of Violence return for a buzzworthy feud. Should Samoa Joe dethrone Darby Allin for the TNT Championship this week, it could set the stage for Mr. Mayhem to return to TV.
What do you make of these rumors? Sound off in the comments section below.
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