Despite Friday Night SmackDown‘s high-profile move to Fox earlier this month — and a number of reports suggesting that certain wrestlers would be getting a better push going forward — recent rumors have pointed to a decline in morale in the WWE locker room. And with All Elite Wrestling‘s success as a fledgling company in mind, several WWE superstars are reportedly considering joining the competition once their contracts come up.
In a report published on Thursday, WrestlingNews.co‘s Paul Davis started out his piece by stressing that some WWE superstars may have no problem turning down a more lucrative contract to re-sign with the company if they can get a “fair deal” with AEW. He quoted multiple unnamed WWE performers, who cited various reasons why they or their colleagues may be considering a jump to the recently launched rival promotion.
According to one superstar, these reasons include the successful AEW debut of Jake Hager, who previously spent more than a decade in WWE performing under the name Jack Swagger.
“They talk him up as a MMA bada** instead of an ex-WWE guy and that’s smart of them to do. And they have done so much to get over those younger guys. There’s something about the way everyone is presented that is appealing.”
While WWE has re-signed several performers to long-term contracts in an effort to prevent them from jumping to AEW, a second wrestler allegedly told Davis that the company has broken some of its promises to these superstars by failing to give them a bigger push. In relation to this, Davis noted that the feeling within the WWE locker room is that the promotion simply has too large of a roster, thus limiting television exposure for many wrestlers and forcing them to consider AEW as an alternative option.
Furthermore, a third WWE superstar was quoted by Davis as saying that many of their colleagues have realized “nothing will change” as long as Vince McMahon is in charge of the company. While they acknowledged that some performers may re-sign with WWE — even if they also believe McMahon won’t step down “for another 10 years or more” — they pointed out that others have saved up enough money to move to AEW and take advantage of a much lighter schedule. As noted by WrestlingNews.co, this schedule doesn’t include any full-time touring at the moment, and does not require wrestlers to work more than once a week.
The same wrestler also mentioned a few other reasons why AEW is emerging as a favorable option for some of their colleagues, starting with the rival company’s supposed lack of “bullsh*t politics” in the locker room. They added that current AEW World Champion Chris Jericho has “made it okay” to leave WWE and not consider McMahon’s promotion as the “end all be all” of professional wrestling.