The last big name of a former WWE that peeked out on the AEW television screens tonight is the former NXT athlete KUSHIDA, seen for months in the rings of the third brand of the McMahon company, who however did not find his way there, preferring to change companies.
During tonight's episode of Dynamite, KUSHIDA answered the open challenge of Darby Allin, TNT champion of the Khan family, who in turn won the belt from another ex NXT: Samoa Joe, just a few days ago. As early as last April, KUSHIDA had disappeared from the scene in WWE, with his profile immediately being included in the Alumni section of the McMahon company website.
In the end, after a return to his homeland, Japan and a landing at IMPACT Wrestling, KUSHIDA also decided to debut in the rings of the Khan family.
KUSHIDA debuted AEW
In recent years, WWE has released several talents from NXT and also from the main roster, with Chairman Vince McMahon having decided in his last period in WWE to embark on a completely different journey and job with the third roster of his company, compared to to the work that his son-in-law Triple H had instead done in recent years.
Among the many fired, there was also the management of NXT in the middle, with names like Samoa Joe, Dave Kapoor, Road Dogg and William Regal who were all fired overnight, because the WWE Chairman wanted a new spirit, a new lifeblood for his color show, but now back under the creative control of the Triple.
After the momentary farewell to Vince McMahon's company, HHH has begun to sign several NXT and main roster athletes that the old Chairman had torpedoed, as seen in recent weeks and months, except for some athletes who instead have already signed with AEW.
These large waves of releases, however, had begun on April 15, 2020, when in the midst of the global covid pandemic, WWE had started a program to shrink its rosters, cutting numerous names from all parts of its organization.
In addition to having numerous layoffs, due to the management of Vince McMahon, numerous other athletes have also asked for their release, such as Andrade, Dean Ambrose Gran Metalik, Adam Cole or the late Luke Harper. According to the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Kushida did not have the same loyalty as the other wrestlers in NJPW when he left the company.
"New Japan has expected him [Kushida] back for some time since everyone could see very early in the run that he basically wasted three years of his prime doing almost nothing. At the time he left he wanted to try WWE while still in his prime and he wasn’t a New Japan dojo guy so he didn’t have the company loyalty that a lot of the talent there has."