WWE's latest round of releases on Wednesday included a former world champion in Braun Strowman, a potential main eventer in Aleister Black (who has already switched his Twitter profile back to his independent name Tommy End) and wrestlers with ample TV experience like Lana and Buddy Murphy. And, in what has become a tradition ever since All Elite Wrestling launched as a promotion, fans are already wondering if and when these stars might appear with the Jacksonville-based promotion. Assuming all of the wrestlers fired on Wednesday have the 90-day "No Compete" clause in their contract, none of them would be able to appear on AEW programming until the Sept. 1 episode of AEW Dynamite.
That also means they could potentially appear at AEW's All Out pay-per-view, which was confirmed for Sunday, Sept. 5 in Chicago. Obviously, AEW can't/won't sign everyone WWE lets go, but the opportunity is there. That also goes for the wrestlers who have been released earlier this year, as WWE's wave of cuts started back on April 15 with 10 releases (highlighted by Samoa Joe and The IIconics).
Update: Mike Johnson of PWInsider reported on Thursday that the 90-day "No Compete Clauses" reportedly don't expire until the days after All Out. Johnson wrote in a Q&A, "We are told that all the non-competes land around 9/6-9/10, so that's a no."
Cody Rhodes, one of AEW's executive vice presidents and a former WWE star in his own right, talked about the possibility of picking up former WWE talent last September. At the time he was asked about bringing in Matt Cardona and Rusev, which eventually led to Cardona having a brief run with the company while Rusev (now Miro) is the reigning TNT Champion.
"Here's the trick," Rhodes told ESPN at the time. "We only have a two-hour show. And a lot of our roster hasn't even been fully realized or seen yet. I want to make sure we honor individuals like that. If you bring in a hot free agent, that means someone is going to lose a spot. That's just the reality of it. In my capitalistic, cold nature that I have, I actually don't mind that, because that makes everybody else step their game up. But you do want to do it fairly and responsibly. The best wrestlers, no matter where they came from, you're going to want on your show."
Some of the former WWE stars who are currently on AEW's roster include Rhodes, Jon Moxley, Shawn Spears, FTR, Chris Jericho, Christian Cage, Lance Archer, Paul Wight, Mark Henry, Matt Hardy, Matt Sydal and PAC. Lio Rush was the latest to arrive, making a surprise appearance at Double or Nothing this past Sunday. Of all the people WWE has dropped since mid-April, who do you think should make the jump to AEW? Let us know in the comments below!