Get ready, because AEW continues to stack their October event with several must-see matches and the company is promising even more. The likes of Chris Jericho recently teased new wrestlers getting added into the mix as well. Without a doubt, we can expect more and more WWE talent to make the jump once the show gets underway on TNT.
In this article, we’ll take a look at possible names to jump ship. Vince might feel lots of emotions letting some of these WWE stars go given their longevity, past loyalty, and overall talent. On the flip side, we’ll also speculate which WWE stars are staying put despite the rumors telling us otherwise.
Enjoy the article folks and like always, be sure to share it with a friend. Let’s get started!
16 Goodbye - Bayley
At the moment, Bayley is on good terms with the company as the Women's Champion over on SmackDown. However, it wasn’t long ago when Bayley was receiving boos from the audience and seemingly going nowhere with her character.
Once she drops the belt, it is very possible that she reverts back to her old ways. Bayley is driven to succeed and her inner wrestling fan might want to spark a change eventually; one that might lead to an emotional exit while bolstering AEW’s division and giving her a fresh new start – one she might need.
15 Goodbye – Daniel Bryan
Yes, he recently signed a long-term deal with WWE. However, there will come a point when Bryan looks elsewhere. Daniel admits that he plans to wrestle well into his older days – he even spoke about plans of competing in Mexico as part of a hair versus mask match.
He might also be inclined to freshen things up with AEW, taking on newer talent like Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks and Adam Page, just to name a few. Hanging on to Bryan is not going to be an easy task once his recent deal expires – he’s a creative dude!
14 Staying - Sasha Banks
For the longest time, Sasha seemed to be an obvious AEW signing. Heck, she even commented on the PPV while teasing matches against their talent.
However, that’s all in the past with Sasha not only returning but doing so on her own terms. She was finally granted a heel turn and a pretty brutal one at that. The change might be enough to keep her content in the long-term moving forward.
13 Goodbye - The Usos & Naomi
Like Daniel Bryan, The Usos recently signed extensions. There were rumors that they might look elsewhere – The Usos have seriously done it all and back again with WWE. As for Naomi, she isn’t plugged into any major storylines in the recent months either.
Once their deals expire, the trio might choose to rejuvenate their careers with AEW taking on the likes of the Young Bucks. We can also see Naomi completely thriving in the new environment.
12 Goodbye - Renee Young
Whether it be AEW or another promising sports network, the chances of WWE keeping Renee Young long-term seem to be pretty slim. She’s just so talented at her position especially in her role as a host.
We can also see the scenario of Young staying in the business and joining her husband with AEW. The time apart from one another can’t be easy – she might be inclined to make this change in the future.
11 Goodbye - Cesaro
Nearing his 40s, Cesaro remains among the elite in WWE. His abilities are truly surreal, yet he hasn’t captured a World Title just yet.
Similar to Bryan, Cesaro wants to end his career on the indies. He spoke about performing for Chikara, the same place that jumpstarted his career. AEW can be another intriguing option with so many dream scenarios.
10 Staying - Rey Mysterio
His current deal expires in 2020. However, Mysterio believes he has at least five years left in the tank, according to his interview with Comic Book.
He has lots of friends over in AEW, he even followed the account via IG. However, it appears as though Mysterio will end his career with WWE unless something changes between now and his contract expiration next year.
9 Goodbye - Matt Hardy
Wife Reby Sky tweeted out in early January that there was a possibility of herself and Matt joining the new company. This might be a valid statement more than just a teaser, after all, Matt is always looking to reinvent himself, even well into his 40s.
Once his contract comes to a close, he might be inclined to work elsewhere.
8 Goodbye - Harper
We’re still not sure what exactly is going on with Luke Harper. Once his deal expires, this is looking like a sure release. Harper continues to sit at home while McMahon has no interest in using the WWE star.
Such a tragedy, given that his prime years are just being wasted away. No doubt, AEW can rewrite these wrongs.
7 Staying – AJ Styles
With his contract expiring, some speculated that AJ might be inclined to visit life outside of WWE once again. This was nowhere near the truth as Styles didn’t even entertain other offers, according to Wrestling Observer.
AJ also admitted that he won’t sign with any other company and his current WWE deal is likely his last.
6 Goodbye - Sami Zayn
During his run with NXT under Triple H’s guidance, Sami Zayn looked like a sure future WWE Champion. He had that Daniel Bryan-lovable-underdog swagger, hence the nickname the Underdog from the Underground.
The main roster hasn’t been so kind, to put it lightly. He’s constantly putting others over, though he continues to thrive with his character work as a heel. Zayn might bet on himself and join AEW once his contract expires.
5 Staying – Undisputed Era
According to Forbes, several NXT talents are asking for a release given their limited television time. AEW can promise more, especially given their recent TV deal.
Well, things might be changing with NXT set to make its debut on FS1. Rumors indicate that the show might be bumped to an additional hour as well. Without a doubt, the likes of Undisputed Era will be front and center for the debut – they’re not going anywhere.
4 Goodbye - Asuka
She was considered the best wrestler in the world according to Wrestling Observer just a couple of years ago. She followed that trajectory with NXT, though things haven’t been the same since joining the main roster.
Age 37, Asuka might bet on her talent and pursue one final push elsewhere, perhaps on top of the AEW women’s division.
3 Goodbye - Dolph Ziggler
Similar to Sami Zayn, Ziggler seems to be going on a downward spiral. He’s constantly put in big matches only to put others over. Heck, he even put Goldberg over in seconds; in truth, Ziggler could have used the victory to turn things around.
This might be his final WWE deal – who knows what’s next; whether that be a run with another company like AEW or something else unrelated to wrestling.
2 Goodbye - Rusev & Lana
Still, Lana and Rusev’s futures remain in serious doubt. With Rusev’s deal about to expire, an extension really isn’t a guarantee especially given his recent booking in the last couple of years.
WWE’s failure to push the Rusev Day gimmick might’ve been the last chance. He might already be gone.
1 Staying - Randy Orton
Surprisingly, Forbes listed Randy Orton as a possible AEW signing in the future. There might be some validity to this; Orton is close to Cody Rhodes and heck, he’s done it all with WWE. Let’s not forget that AEW isn’t short on cash either.
However, Orton won’t change his loyalty to WWE – he’s a lifetime WWE employee even when he decides to call it a career.
Sources – Forbes, Wrestling Observer & 411 Mania