AEW is in full roster-build mode. A new wrestling company that has signed some of the biggest names in indie wrestling and added a couple of major names that became famous in WWE, the company is on a hiring spree in an attempt to fill enough time to host live events, pay-per-views and action-pack a new television show they’re rumored to have landed with TBS/TNT.
The executives behind AEW have said they aren’t necessarily looking at grabbing a ton of WWE-grown talent but there will obviously be a few exceptions if the right names become available.
Knowing names like Batista and AJ Styles might have almost made the jump, here are nine other names we’ve heard in the rumor mill as ready or wanting to leave WWE. Their contract situations may all be unique and there’s no confirmation they are actually able to ditch Vince and co. and/or head for greener pastures, but there’s lots of noise where these names are concerned.
9. Sasha Banks
Assuming you’re a wrestling fan and assuming you haven’t been living under a rock the past 24-48 hours, you’ve heard about the drama surrounding Sasha Banks and her alleged unhappiness with the way WWE pulled the tag title belts out from under her and Bayley at WrestleMania 35.
A number of media sources have reported Banks tried to quit WWE over the weekend and she lost her cool only to be told to take a break, leave for a bit, relax and come back once she’s had a better chance to think about her future. Reports are, WWE wants her to decide if she really wants to leave or if she was just upset she didn’t get what she wanted and needed a minute to gather herself.
There is a ton of fan support behind Banks in this instance because speculation is the decision to take the belts was a last-minute change. Further to that, she’s developing a reputation in WWE as a character who can win a title but not keep it and she was told her and Bayley would get a long run with the titles to make them an important part of the company. No wonder she’s upset.
Obviously, whatever she was promised was reneged on and she’s tired of being underappreciated. In AEW, she’ll have a chance shine as the top female name on the brand.
The complication — or hurdle, if you will — will be if WWE actually grants her a release should she come back after having thought it through and says, ‘I’m out.’ That seems unlikely, but maybe they’re tired of her pouting and hints on social media that she’s always unhappy.