According to Raj Giri of WrestlingInc.com, Christian is not under contract with WWE. The two sides reportedly held talks and ideas were discussed, but the negotiations fell through despite WWE's interest.
On Wednesday night's episode of AEW Dynamite, recent AEW signee "Big Show" Paul Wight revealed that a "Hall of Fame-worthy talent" will sign with AEW at Sunday's Revolution pay-per-view.
Giri noted that it is a "very real possibility" Christian could sign with AEW, although it isn't known if he is the surprise signing Wight was referencing.
Christian was forced to retire from in-ring competition in 2014 because of injuries, but he shocked the wrestling world by returning in the 2021 Men's Royal Rumble match as a surprise entrant.
Captain Charisma entered at No. 24, was among the final men remaining in the match and looked as if he hadn't missed a step.
During a subsequent appearance on WWE's The Bump, the former WWE world heavyweight champion divulged that he wasn't told he was cleared to participate in the Rumble until two nights before the event.
Christian has not been seen on Raw or SmackDown since the Rumble, but he did appear on The Bump a few weeks ago, and WWE produced a video that provided a behind-the-scenes look and Christian and longtime best friend Edge preparing for the Rumble.
Edge won the Royal Rumble match and has challenged Roman Reigns to a match for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania 37. With Edge in a high-profile spot and Christian performing so well in the Rumble, it was widely assumed that Christian would sign on to wrestle for WWE on at least a part-time basis.
Giri's report casts some doubt on that possibility, however, and Christian is now among the most popular names being mentioned as possibilities to be the AEW surprise.
Speculation has run rampant on social media, with huge names such as CM Punk, Brock Lesnar, John Cena and even The Rock being brought up.
Christian is part of a group of names not quite at that level, which also includes the likes of Kurt Angle, Rob Van Dam, Mark Henry and Bully Ray, among others.
It is difficult to fathom WWE allowing Christian to slip through its fingers and join the competition, but stranger things have happened in the world of professional wrestling.
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