WWE is already feeling the heat now that All Elite Wrestling has officially launched and for the first time since WCW folded, wrestlers have many options. Ring Of Honor paid significant money to sign Rush and New Japan Pro Wrestling has locked in some of their talent to longer contracts. Of course, All Elite Wrestling has the backing of Tony Khan and they are able to offer massive contracts to sign big names.
In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer reported that WWE has told wrestlers that if they can show that they have received an offer on paper from another company, they will beat it and even double it on the spot if they sign WWE’s deal immediately.
Apparently, WWE did not offer enough to sign Chris Jericho because he signed a three-year deal with AEW and he says that the deal is the best one he’s ever signed.
Meltzer added that Vince McMahon is going very hard right now on trying to avoid the idea that people want to leave. They also don’t want wrestlers thinking that they can make better money by going elsewhere.
Jericho, Cody Rhodes, and Juice Robinson are examples of wrestlers that got better deals. Robinson recently signed a two-year deal with a raise with New Japan Pro Wrestling.
As we’ve written about before, there are wrestlers in WWE that are unhappy and are likely to get pushes because the company knows that they have options. Others have already asked to be released and there are some already looking at AEW as an option when their deals expire later this year.
For what it’s worth, AJ Styles, Matt, and Jeff Hardy and a few others have contracts expiring in a few months.
There are unconfirmed rumors about Goldust looking to leave WWE so he can join his brother Cody Rhodes in All Elite Wrestling. Earlier, we reported about four WWE Superstars (click here for details) that have asked for their release and another (click here for details) who could be leaving the company at the end of this month.