The executives in Stamford, CT won’t admit to this publicly but there is no doubt that the war between WWE and AEW has started.
We’ve written many times about wrestlers looking to get out of WWE when their contracts expire. Some of them will leave and others will opt to stay because of the huge money contracts being offered. Mike an Maria Kanellis recently signed new multi-year deals to stay with the company but others like Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson are expected to become free agents in a few months. It won’t shock anyone to see them in All Elite Wrestling and/or New Japan Pro Wrestling by the Fall.
On Saturday’s Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said that he talked to a lot of people from WWE last Monday when they were in his hometown of San Jose and many wrestlers told him that they can’t wait to leave.
“They were just in town and everybody wants out. I won’t say everybody because that’s not fair. Roman Reigns doesn’t want out. But the amount of people who have contacted AEW would blow your mind,” Meltzer said. “There are people that are counting down the days.”
He noted how the buzz for Double Or Nothing and the ticket sales for All Out have really changed things for wrestlers looking to go elsewhere for better opportunities. Meltzer said, “The Usos did sign to stay and AJ [Styles] to stay. But when this [Double Or Nothing/All Out] happens, that changes the game.”
He noted how WWE is offering a lot of money for wrestlers to stay. In every instance, it’s more money than they’ve ever made and money that would not have been offered if AEW was not around. Some WWE wrestlers have turned down some very big money offers.
Meltzer added, “There are guys who have told me, including guys in AEW now, that they cannot believe that they turned the offer down [from WWE] but they did. I know people in WWE right now who are not interested in signing again and they can’t believe they are turning down the money.”