The world of pro wrestling has had a lot of interesting rumors in the last few weeks with stories of WWE talents possibly wanting to try something different like going to AEW or another promotion. As a result, there have been a lot of stories about people possibly leaving the company. The biggest contract news has been the story of Dean Ambrose leaving WWE in April when his contract expires, which led to reports that WWE is doing what they can to keep talents from leaving. Hideo Itami is another name that chose to leave WWE as well.
Here are a few stories that came out today about some big names in WWE.
* The Usos twin brother tag team comprised of Jimmy and Jey Uso have not re-signed with WWE according to Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp, who noted that there is fear internally that The Usos may let their contracts expire. In response to that story, PWInsider’s Mike Johnson noted that multiple sources in WWE say that The Usos contracts are set to expire in April. Johnson noted that WWE has been in discussions with the six-time Tag Team Champions about a new deal.
TJR Thoughts: The Usos seem like WWE lifers to me especially because Jimmy’s wife Naomi works there too, but we don’t know what her contract status is. The reality is that a company like AEW has a lot of money to throw around with the billionaire Khan family backing them, so if they were to give a team like The Usos a deal that is more than WWE is willing to offer then maybe The Usos will listen. I think The Usos are the best WWE tag team this decade (along with the New Day) and one of the best teams WWE has ever had when you think about their longevity. At 33 years of age, they have very bright futures ahead of them.
* Randy Orton is another name in the wrestling rumor mill of late. It was reported by Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful that Orton might be willing to talk to All Elite Wrestling when his contract is up (no date given for that), but the whole thing seems kinda vague and I don’t know if I really believe it.
Mark Henry commented on the Orton rumor on the Busted Open Radio show. Thanks to WrestlingNews.co for the quote:
“He’s always been a good businessman. He’s always, you know took the backseat when he should have said, ‘Hey guys, I’m not doing that.’ He’s always been a good businessman. So why wouldn’t he be a good businessman and say, ‘You know what? I need to entertain this conversation. It’s not about the money, it’s about creative control. I think that it would be more creative control and time off with Randy.”
Bully Ray also commented on the Orton story on Busted Open:
“They have money. They will offer more creative freedom. They will have a much more wrestler friendly schedule. He’s done it all where he is now, why wouldn’t he be open to it?”
TJR Thoughts: I don’t see Orton leaving WWE, but you never really know. As I’ve said in the past, it’s all about the money and if a 38-year-old guy like Orton can work a lighter schedule for AEW while making more money then he should consider it. Orton is likely still close friends with Cody Rhodes, who he was aligned with in the Legacy group in WWE ten years ago. Since Cody is an executive in AEW, it makes sense that Orton would at least talk to them. I doubt Orton leaves WWE.
* AJ Styles is also in the news. He sent out a tweet today saying he’s not dealing with a hernia injury.
Yeah, about that. I don’t have a hernia. 😐 https://t.co/ilqge7BlZw
— AJ Styles (@AJStylesOrg) February 6, 2019
Earlier this week, Styles also denied that he had come to terms on a new contract with WWE.
What was that? Are you sure? Please let me know the more because I know nothing about this. 🤨 https://t.co/912V4k44uy
— AJ Styles (@AJStylesOrg) February 3, 2019
According to PWInsider, WWE officials and Styles have been in discussions for some time and WWE has made a strong play to try to keep Styles. If Styles doesn’t re-sign with WWE, perhaps he could be AEW bound.
TJR Thoughts: Styles is 41 years old and likely wants a new deal that will give him some weekends off since he’s married with four kids. Since WWE gave Daniel Bryan a new contract last year where he got a nice deal with some weekends off, it seems like WWE will be willing to do the same for Styles. The question is, will the dollars match? We don’t know that, so that’s something WWE has to take care of if they want to keep the “face that runs the place” on Smackdown Live. The obvious tie-in for Styles with AEW is that he is close friends with the Young Bucks from their days in New Japan Pro Wrestling together as part of the Bullet Club group. If I had to guess, I’d say Styles stays where he is in WWE because he likes it there and they will likely give him the kind of schedule he wants.
* The update on Dolph Ziggler, per PWInsider, is that WWE’s relationship with Ziggler is likely going to continue.
TJR Thoughts: Ziggler is on a break from WWE right now while he focuses on his comedy tour and likely just wanting a break from the wrestling grind after being on the road consistently for over a decade. Taking a break is a way to keep your body fresh and it makes the return more meaningful whenever that happens. It’s always possible that he could go to AEW since they are throwing money around, but he may want to return to WWE if he goes back to wrestling regularly.
There is also a story on the internet today about The Undertaker removing WWE mentions from his Twitter account and having a booking agent. It’s really a non-story because he has been taking bookings for appearances for months now, yet for whatever reason, people seemed to notice it today.