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WWE Rumors: AEW Talent Under Contract Was Contacted About Possible Return

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 16, 2022

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

A performer under contract with All Elite Wrestling was contacted by a WWE official, according to Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp.

Sapp added it's unclear whether this amounts to unlawful tampering since the talent is signed to AEW on a full-time deal.

For the most part, the pipeline between WWE and AEW has flowed one way. A number of stars either released by WWE or seeking a new challenge have landed on their feet with AEW. Cody Rhodes is the most notable wrestler to go the other way, returning to WWE at WrestleMania 38 in April.

However, it's a new era at Titan Towers with Vince McMahon gone and Triple H running the creative team.

Karrion Kross, who was let go by WWE last November, returned on the Aug. 5 episode of SmackDown.

One week later, Hit Row (sans Swerve Strickland) was back in WWE as well.

It would appear Triple H is looking to showcase wrestlers he helped nurture in NXT and who were then marginalized or jettisoned altogether.

That raises the question as to whether anybody who went to AEW might suddenly be looking at WWE differently. Rhodes getting pushed as a main event player immediately upon his return also eased some concerns about WWE potentially pushing any ex-AEW performers to the periphery if for no other reason than spite.

Since arriving on the scene, AEW represented the kind of domestic competition WWE hasn't had in years. But it didn't feel like a return to the Monday Night Wars of the 1990s for a few different reasons.

For one, WWE is such a financial behemoth that it's almost impossible for any other promotion to be a true rival. There isn't the same kind of unpredictability from week to week when so much of the roster movement is one-sided, too.

Based on Sapp's report, WWE is ready to reverse the talent exodus that significantly depleted its ranks.

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