Over the years, the willingness of wrestling promotions to engage with wrestlers contracted to their rivals has oscillated significantly. However, an enhanced sense of caution has recently taken hold, particularly within the WWE, as they aim to avoid any potential allegations of contract tampering with AEW.
In the past, less discretion was exercised, as exemplified by WWE's open courtship of Chris Jericho while he was still under contract with WCW in 1999, as he chronicles in his memoir. Today's context, however, is noticeably different.
The WWE is not only cautious about any possible accusations of tampering but also keen to steer clear of adding unnecessary complications to its ongoing legal tussle with MLW. This narrative has emerged in the recent Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which also touched on the contract statuses of wrestling superstars Rush and Andrade El Idolo, thanks to the latest rumors emerging from Mexico.
AEW Contract Speculations Heat Up
Rush's one-year contract with AEW is reportedly close to expiry, sparking much discussion. Concurrently, Andrade has stirred the pot by announcing that his June 15th match in Laguna will be his last in the region for the foreseeable future.
This proclamation is notable given AEW's policy of not imposing restrictions on its wrestlers' bookings in Mexico. Adding another layer to this complex situation is the ambiguity surrounding Andrade's contract's tenure. In April, he hinted that his contract would end "very soon," contradicting his earlier statement at the time of signing that his warranty would extend until June 2024.
This ambiguity is further compounded by the potential for his injury layoff to grow his contractual obligations. A report by WON last year indicated that WWE had initiated contact with some AEW talent, a revelation that AEW CEO Tony Khan corroborated months later.
This backdrop of shifting alliances, evolving contracts, and strategic moves paints a vibrant, dynamic landscape in professional wrestling that the WWE is navigating carefully.