Since AEW officially launched on January 1, several WWE Superstars have requested to be released from their contracts.
The Revival’s Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder were two of the biggest names who reportedly requested to leave in January, and it was also widely reported that Mike & Maria Kanellis asked WWE to let them leave their contracts six months earlier than planned.
Luke Harper’s contract situation is also up in the air – he publicly asked to leave in April but WWE did not grant him his release – while Sasha Banks has still not returned to television after reportedly letting it be known after WrestleMania 35 that she wanted to be let go from her contract.
In contrast, Hideo Itami, TJP and Tye Dillinger were all given permission by WWE to leave before the end of their contracts.
Speaking on the latest edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer gave the following update on WWE Superstars who want to join AEW:“Everybody wants out. Well, I wouldn’t say everybody because that’s not fair – Roman Reigns doesn’t want out – but the amount of people that have contacted AEW would blow your mind."
Tye Dillinger (Shawn Spears), Dean Ambrose (Jon Moxley) and Rhyno have all mentioned in recent interviews that they were so adamant about leaving WWE that they rejected the company’s new contract offers without even looking at how much they would get paid.
Meltzer added:“There are guys who have told me, including guys in AEW now, that they cannot believe that they turned the offer down, but they did. And I know people in WWE now who are not interested in signing again, and yet they can’t believe they’re turning down the money.”
Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson and Shinsuke Nakamura are all believed to be out of contract later in 2019, so the wrestling world will have to wait and see whether they will re-sign with WWE, join AEW or return to NJPW.