5 WWE Superstars who appeared in rival promotions while still under contract 

CM Punk also paid a visit to other promotions.
WWE Superstar CM Punk also visited other companies.

WWE Superstars are only allowed to perform inside the promotion’s squared circle and nowhere else. However, on rare occasions, WWE would set aside this ruling and allow some of their contracted sports entertainers to pay a visit to other wrestling companies.

Wrestling fans have witnessed a few of these instances over the years and managed to capture the awesome moments. There were even times when the guest superstar was a current title holder, making the experience even more worthwhile.

Check out these five WWE Superstars who showed up in other promotions while they were still under contract.

#5. WWE Superstar and former champion AJ Styles appearing at NWA Wildside in 2017


Reconnecting with some brawling buddies and going back to your stomping ground roots once again is such a good feeling for an accomplished pro wrestler. This is what WWE Superstar AJ Styles did when he showed up for NWA Wildside’s reunion show in 2017.

Folks familiar with the promotion knew that it was shut down in 2005. Twelve years later, the aforementioned event came to fruition, featuring 50 of its alumni including Bad Attitude, Tank, the late, great New Jack, and AJ Styles.

The promotion gave The Phenomenal One the green light to appear at the event. Though he did not wrestle, Styles showed up with his United States Championship.

#4. Pete Dunne/Butch at Insane Championship Wrestling


In 2017, Butch – who was Pete Dunne and the WWE United Kingdom Champion at the time – also paid a visit to his former stable, ICW. After a few speeches, the crowd got the shock of their lives when it was revealed that Dunne had brought along Triple H.

Triple H went on to thank fans of the promotion, and the indie circuit in general since it is there that most of WWE's stars began their careers. It is believed that the reason behind Triple H and Dunne’s appearance at the time was that the two promotions were in talks regarding some sort of partnership.

#3. CM Punk at an AAW event in 2011


CM Punk was one of the hottest WWE Superstars in the promotion at the time. It sure was a big deal when he made a surprise appearance at AAW’s Scars and Stripes in 2011

This happened after handicapped wrestler Gregory Iron and current AEW star Colt Cabana's tag match during the event. Cabana cut a bit of a promo before leaving the ring and going backstage. To fans’ surprise, Cabana returned alongside then WWE Champion CM Punk.

Like AJ Styles and Pete Dunne/Butch, he did not deliver any GTSs. Instead, he went on to commend Iron for his perseverance and love of pro wrestling.

#2. Shawn Michaels at Power Wrestling Alliance in 2005


Of all the places where one can set up a wrestling event, this one took place inside a church, not to mention WWE Superstars and Hall of Famers Shawn Michaels and Sting sharing the ring at some point during the match.

This happened after a tag team match in which Sting competed. He was ganged up on by Buff Bagwell and Greg Valentine. This was Michaels’ queue to come out and help The Icon by delivering some Sweet Chin Music to Sting’s attackers. There was even a part where Michaels checked on Sting after the attack.

#1. John Cena as guest referee at Chaotic Wrestling in 2007


This is probably one of the rarest moments in pro-wrestling history. Imagine the boss of a premiere wrestling promotion stepping into an indie ring alongside one of his best superstars.

In 2007, John Cena took on the role of guest referee at Chaotic Wrestling, officiating in a singles match between Brian Milonas and Rick Fuller. It was during the match that, out of nowhere, former Chairman Vince McMahon entered the ring and slapped Cena a few times before receiving an FU courtesy of the "invisible" man.

Prior to this, Cena was hit by Milonas with a championship belt and he too was sent out with an FU after Vinnie Mac. Cena then disqualified Milonas and declared Fuller the victor.

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Edited by Steffi
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