Contract disputes — the thing WWE fears the most now. With the arrival of All Elite Wrestling (AEW), superstars have gotten a new workplace that offers more freedom and creative control to its wrestlers.
Since wrestlers like Shawn Spears, Jon Moxley, and Brodie Lee (remember Luke Harper?) have already left WWE despite great money offers, more wrestlers are trying to walk out on the company. Vince McMahon obviously doesn’t want this to happen and that’s why he’s throwing a lot of money to his wrestlers.
Quite a few superstars are currently negotiating a new contract with WWE, while others have clearly stated they would leave — no matter what. While Vinnie Mac has a strategy to prevent this from happening — and that’s offering lucrative contract deals, but can money prevent everyone from leaving WWE? Perhaps not. Here are 7 WWE superstars you can expect to leave the company in 2020, after WrestleMania.
Rusev is negotiating a new contract for a while now. His wife, Lana, signed a deal with WWE in November 2019, and in return, Vince McMahon offered her millions of dollars and a star-making storyline. Well, she’s a star now.
Lana has gotten so much television time in recent weeks that although the fans abhor her, she’s still getting more and more popular among the WWE Universe. However, The Bulgarian Brute isn’t interested in the money WWE is offering to him.
In the past few years, Rusev has gotten several chances to build his name but the company has missed out on every opportunity. When #RusevDay was a trend, WWE didn’t capitalize. It could have made Rusev even a main-event performer (yes, he was that over) but what did they do? Print merchandise and sell them to the fans when they could have written an interesting storyline for him.
Paul Heyman is currently trying to prevent Rusev from leaving WWE, but could he be able to change his mind? There are a lot of unfulfilled promises. Perhaps, Rusev might consider leaving instead.
After receiving a Con-Chair-To on RAW at the hands of Randy Orton last week and another devastating attack this week, Matt Hardy has seemingly confirmed his exit from WWE.
Hardy is a WWE veteran, and he’s currently having some contract disputes with the company. His contract is set to expire on March 1, and who knows? He might as well make his debut on AEW Dynamite.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter recently stated that Matt Hardy will never receive a prominent push in WWE. Even though his promo work on last RAW was fabulous, the creative may not feel the same. Although, there’s a possibility of a change.
Hardy is a fan-favorite wrestler and since he can reform The Hardy Boyz with Jeff Hardy if he stays, WWE might convince him to re-sign. But if we consider that Hardy is teasing to become the leader of AEW’s The Dark Order, this seems unlikely to happen. What if both Hardys leave WWE and join AEW as a tag team?
Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder (The Revival)
Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder of The Revival are almost guaranteed to leave WWE once their contract expires. They have been asking for their releases for a long time now. WWE presented a whopping $700,000 deal to them but The Revival has set their mind. They want to leave because money isn’t an issue for them; creative freedom is. WWE doesn’t allow its wrestlers such luxury unless they are a huge name.
Since several other wrestlers have joined AEW after leaving Vince McMahon’s billion-dollar company, the WWE Universe is expecting The Revival to do the same. AEW will not only provide complete creative freedom to Dawson and Wilder, but they are also more lifely to use them constantly.
We know that Tony Khan and Co. put a lot of effort into every aspect of wrestling, and AEW’s tag team division is much better than that of WWE’s. We bet that everyone wants to see The Young Bucks and The Revival stealing the show.
Ethan Carter III is one of those superstars who is being buried in WWE due to Vince McMahon’s lack of faith. Even though Paul Heyman is the creative head on RAW, we know he can’t do things without McMahon’s approval. If the Chairman of WWE doesn’t have faith in someone, why would he push him? Recently, AEW Champion Chris Jericho posted an image on his Instagram account featuring EC3.
The former 24/7 Champion had his last WWE match in September 2019 and has been sitting out on the sidelines since then. Perhaps, he is waiting for his contract to expire and then make a shocking debut in AEW. And because Vince doesn’t want to push EC3, he probably would be more than happy to release him.
Kairi Sane is currently paired with Asuka on RAW as a tag team. She’s one-half of the Women’s Tag Team Champion and although WWE is featuring them on television frequently, Kairi could still leave the company.
“Kairi Sane, I could definitely see her leaving. I don’t know that she’s gonna leave, but she’s definitely expressed interest in exploring other options,” excerpt from Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
Her professional care on the main roster doesn’t put credibility to her name in any way, and this alone could be a reason for her departure.
Bushiroad — the company that owns New Japan Pro Wrestling and World Wonder Ring Stardom — is interested in signing Io Shirai of NXT, according to Dave Meltzer. Another interesting note Meltzer made is that Shirai is engaged to NJPW wrestler Evil and she isn’t happy in the USA. The fact that she has to travel thousands of miles to see her fiance is a deal-breaker for her. Also, her pay in NXT isn’t a lot. Meltzer said that she was earning way more in Stardom where she worked before joining WWE in 2016.
“Io may be moved to the main roster real quick to keep [her from leaving] because then her pay goes way up because her pay in NXT is nothing special. I heard she was making more money [with Stardom].”
Perhaps Shirai — if not Kairi Sane — could end up leaving WWE and go back to Japan. She already has a history with Stardom and it’ll be more comfortable for her to work there than in America.