After being absent from Monday Night Raw for several weeks, it now appears that there’s a reason why Austin Theory mysteriously disappeared from the red brand’s programming.
In response to a fan who inquired about Theory on Twitter, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter explained late on Monday night that the 23-year-old is on an “unannounced suspension of sorts.”
While it remains unclear if Theory ran afoul of WWE officials or his fellow wrestlers in one way or another, WrestlingNews.co noted that Meltzer’s post ruled out the previous speculation that suggested the young grappler was injured. Prior to his apparent suspension, Theory was aligned with Seth Rollins’ faction. However, when Rollins and Murphy took part in a segment on this week’s Raw that also involved Samoa Joe and Dominik Mysterio, his name was not at all mentioned by the announcers.
After being introduced to the main roster as part of Zelina Vega’s stable alongside Andrade and Angel Garza, it was reported in May that Theory was going to be kicked out of the group and written off of television in order to transition him back to NXT for additional seasoning. As explained at that time by PWInsider’s Mike Johnson, the Atlanta native’s call-up to the main roster was supposed to be temporary, as his presence was only required while Andrade continued to recover from an injury.
Just a few days after that report, it turned out that Theory wasn’t getting sent back to NXT after all, as he joined forces with Rollins and Murphy in an episode where Vega, Andrade, and Garza turned on him.
Following Theory’s disappearance from TV, he was mentioned by Forbes as one of the many young and/or underexposed wrestlers who were favorites of the red brand’s former executive director, Paul Heyman. As noted, these talents were seemingly pushed to the background in favor of veteran performers when Heyman was replaced in his role by Bruce Prichard.
Interestingly, the rumors of Theory being suspended came on the same night that another talent, Nia Jax, was given an indefinite suspension without pay, not long after she was fined for getting involved in a physical altercation with backstage producer Pat Buck. However, as pointed out by eWrestlingNews, this was all part of a storyline where Jax refused to apologize to Buck for her past actions and ended up attacking him in the ring on this week’s Raw, leading to the harsher sanction.