Less than two weeks following his WWE departure, which came after he failed to agree on a new contract with the company, it looks like Drew Gulak is on his way back to the Friday Night SmackDown roster.
As reported by WrestlingNews.co, Gulak was apparently moved from the Alumni section of WWE’s website to the active roster earlier on Monday, suggesting that he may have already worked out a new deal with the promotion. This comes shortly after Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that the wrestler and his agent, Barry Bloom, had restarted negotiations with WWE, potentially paving the way for a quick return to the company.
According to a separate report from eWrestling, it’s unclear whether Gulak’s recent decision to hire Bloom as his agent influenced WWE’s initial decision not to give the wrestler a raise. The outlet cited the Wrestling Observer, which recently explained that company officials are generally against the idea of lower- and mid-card wrestlers retaining agents. Likewise, Bloom was described by eWrestling as an example of a representative whom WWE chairman Vince McMahon particularly dislikes dealing with.
With both sides apparently coming to terms, Fightful also noted that Gulak worked this week’s tapings for Friday Night SmackDown at the Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, which included two episodes of the blue brand’s show. The publication wrote that the 33-year-old was spotted in the ring with “over a dozen” other wrestlers, though there was no audible mention of his absence from the previous week’s episode of SmackDown. Fightful also made sure to say that WWE hasn’t officially confirmed Gulak’s return, considering that’s it’s only been days since the company announced his exit.
Interestingly, the new development with Gulak comes mere days after a report suggested that WWE was not immediately seeking to rehire him, despite how it had supposedly come up with a shortlist of released wrestlers who could be brought back once it has recovered from the negative financial impact caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Gulak most recently took part in the tournament for the vacant Intercontinental Championship, losing his first-round match against on-screen ally Daniel Bryan on the May 15 episode of SmackDown. This match was aired just one day before it was reported that the former Cruiserweight Champion was no longer with WWE.
Prior to this tournament, Gulak and Bryan teamed up to feud against Sami Zayn and his Artist Collective faction. It’s unclear if or when this rivalry will eventually resume, considering how Zayn was forced to vacate the Intercontinental Championship due to his continued absence from WWE tapings.