After almost nine years away from in-ring competition, Edge made his triumphant return to the squared circle on Sunday night at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, entering at No. 21 in the eponymous main event and finishing among the final three competitors. While it looks like he will be sticking around as a part-time competitor for the next few years, a new report suggests that the “Rated-R Superstar” was in discussions with one of WWE’s top rival promotions, sometime before his comeback became official.
Citing an anonymous source, Wrestlezone reported that Edge’s WWE return “wasn’t set in stone,” as he was supposedly in talks with All Elite Wrestling about potentially signing with the company. At that time, WWE owner Vince McMahon allegedly “was not open” to the idea of the then-retired superstar competing once again, but as further stressed, it’s not clear how close he was to signing with AEW and joining the likes of Chris Jericho, Jon Moxley, Cody Rhodes, and other former WWE talents.
According to Wrestlezone, AEW first explored the possibility of signing Edge after the 46-year-old had passed independent tests clearing him to return to the ring. However, the Canadian wrestler apparently entered talks with WWE shortly after its recently launched rival made its offer.
“It’s unclear if WWE found out about the AEW talks or if he went back to them with the news, but Vince McMahon reportedly told him that he would be returning in a WWE ring if he was coming back at all and had him get cleared by a WWE doctor,” the publication continued.
After Edge got the thumbs-up from WWE’s medical team, the company reportedly worked on getting him prepared for the Royal Rumble, sending a ring to North Carolina so that he could shake off the rust and improve his timing ahead of his return. And while it wasn’t stated either when he had specifically signed the contract, WrestleVotes separately tweeted on Sunday night that the 11-time world champion has already inked a three-year deal with WWE for “significant” money.
Likewise, there was no mention of what type of schedule AEW was willing to offer Edge if he opted to join the competition. However, The Inquisitr reported that the veteran grappler is expected to have a similar schedule to that of Brock Lesnar, which means he may make some appearances on Monday Night Raw or Friday Night SmackDown but will only be limited to matches at major pay-per-views, including a possible appearance at WrestleMania 36 in April.