Backstage Latest on WWE Contacting AEW Wrestlers and Updates on Recent Rumors

New information about WWE reaching out to contracted AEW talent has emerged.

Swerve Strickland was one of the names contacted by WWE, as we previously reported. According to a new report from Fightful Select, Strickland referred WWE to his attorney and had no intention of returning to the company at the time.

It was speculated that WWE Chief Content Officer Triple H would like to bring back Strickland when he brought back the other Hit Row members, and it has now been confirmed that Strickland was contacted as part of the pitch for Hit Row’s return.

Despite rumors, WWE has not contacted Strickland’s tag team partner Keith Lee, at least not yet.

On a related note, Wrestling Observer’s Ryan Frederick reported last week that Bobby Fish attempted to convince Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly to leave AEW for WWE, shortly before Fish’s AEW contract expired at the end of August. According to this new Fightful report, multiple AEW sources have strongly denied this, while WWE sources have stated that there have been no talks between Fish and the company.

There have been online rumors that Miro was contacted by WWE, but those are just that: rumors. Miro has also not requested his AEW release, according to the report.

Concerning Malakai Black, who reportedly received a conditional release from AEW earlier this month in order to take time off for personal reasons, word has it that when he asked for his AEW release, several AEW higher-ups assumed he only wanted the release so he could go to WWE. According to reports, Black told at least one WWE talent that he wished he could return to the company.

AEW officials reportedly believed the Black situation had been resolved prior to All Out, but this was clearly not the case. At least one AEW source believes Black and Buddy Matthews will be back in AEW within a few months, and that AEW had no intention of releasing Black so he could go elsewhere.

Last week, it was reported that WWE also reached out to IWGP, AAA, and ROH World Tag Team Champions FTR, as well as one more unnamed AEW Original. As previously reported, AEW officials contacted WWE to warn them about contract tampering.