Paige Open to AEW; Toni Storm Reveals WWE's Love Triangle Pitch; NXT Star Released

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJune 13, 2022

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 12:  WWE Wrestler Paige speaks at MGM Studios, WWE, and SheIs special screening of 'Fighting With My Family' at AMC 34th Street on February 12, 2019 in New York City.  (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for MGM Studios)
Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for MGM Studios

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe and All Elite Wrestling.

Paige Open to Signing with AEW

After announcing that her WWE contract is set to expire next month, Paige divulged that she is open to the idea of signing with AEW.

According to Michael Perry of Ringside News, Paige discussed her situation during a Twitch stream, and when asked if she had interest in AEW, she responded, "Sure, if the money is right."

Last week, Paige tweeted a statement, noting that July 7 will be her last day with WWE, as her contract is officially expiring:


Thank you <a href="https://twitter.com/WWE?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WWE</a> ❤️ <a href="https://t.co/9OhGjov13s">pic.twitter.com/9OhGjov13s</a>

Paige also said during a Twitch stream (h/t WrestlingInc's Kellie Haulotte) that her departure is WWE's decision, as the company decided not to re-sign her.

The two-time Divas champion made it clear that she had interest in remaining with the promotion, but WWE decided to move in a different direction.

WWE didn't utilize Paige over the past couple of years in the wake of FS1's WWE Backstage getting canceled. The British Superstar had been a regular panel member on the show before it was halted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paige was once among WWE's top stars in the women's division, serving as the inaugural NXT women's champion and going on to hold the Divas title twice on the main roster.

Her in-ring career was cut short by a neck injury, however, forcing her into retirement in 2018.

Paige still had an on-screen presence after that as SmackDown general manager and later manager of The Kabuki Warriors, but she stopped appearing on television after her managerial run ended.

While Paige has said she isn't yet cleared for in-ring competition, it is her stated goal to wrestle again, which isn't outside the realm of possibility given that Edge returned from what was thought to be a career-ending injury after nearly a decade.

Still just 29 years of age, Paige has plenty of time to make her way back, whether it's with AEW, WWE or somewhere else.

Storm Talks Pitched WWE Angle with Ziggler, Boogs

Speaking recently about her time in WWE, AEW star Toni Storm revealed that there was a plan for her to get involved in a love triangle storyline before she left WWE.

Appearing on Talk Is Jericho (h/t Perry), Storm discussed the angle, which would have seen her trying to choose between Dolph Ziggler or Rick Boogs as her love interest.

There was some brief interaction between them in a backstage segment on SmackDown, but WWE seemed to quickly drop the storyline and instead had Storm challenge Charlotte Flair for the SmackDown Women's Championship.

Storm lost that match and then decided to leave the company after facing Flair and Sasha Banks at a house show in December 2021.

WWE subsequently granted Storm her release, and she made her AEW debut in March by beating The Bunny to qualify for the women's Owen Hart Foundation tournament.

Storm has said plenty about how unhappy she was in WWE since leaving, and she added to it in the interview with fellow AEW star Chris Jericho, saying:

"And then I was working with Charlotte and stuff seemed to be picking up from there, but then, with a lot of contributing factors, kind of just led to me saying, 'You know what? I can't f--king do this anymore and I need to change my life because, to be honest, I'm so depressed here.'"

Storm was early in her main roster tenure when she decided to leave WWE and seemed to have a bright future ahead of her.

The Aussie previously held the NXT UK Women's Championship and won the second Mae Young Classic tournament. She also had a successful run in NXT.

Even so, Storm wasn't fulfilled in WWE, leading to her making the leap to AEW. Although she hasn't yet won gold in AEW and fell to Britt Baker in the Owen Hart tournament, she has been presented as one of the top stars in the AEW women's division thus far.

WWE Releases NXT's Troy Donovan

WWE reportedly released NXT Superstar Troy "Two Dimes" Donovan from his contract Saturday.

According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Haulotte), WWE released Donovan due to a "policy issue" and not because of budgetary or creative reasons.

Meltzer added that WWE told Donovan it would consider bringing him back to the company in a year.

WWE signed Donovan early this year, and he debuted on NXT just a couple of months ago as one of Tony D'Angelo's heavies along with Channing "Stacks" Lorenzo.

Donovan and Lorenzo teamed together a few times on NXT programming, including at NXT In Your House earlier this month when they and D'Angelo defeated Legado Del Fantasma in a six-man tag team match.

With the loss, Legado had to join D'Angelo's family, although they are now down a member with Donovan out of the picture.

Donovan made his independent wrestling debut in 2020 under the name Cole Karter and made a handful of appearances for AEW last year, primarily on Dark.

He also wrestled on the April 14, 2021, episode of AEW Dynamite, losing to Anthony Ogogo.

A return to AEW could now be a possibility for Donovan, or he could wait things out in an attempt to come back to WWE in the future.

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