wrestling / News

More Backstage Details On Malakai Black & Other AEW Wrestlers Reportedly Being Contacted By WWE, AEW Stars Asking For Releases

September 23, 2022 | Posted by Joseph Lee
Malakai Black AEW Dynamite Image Credit: AEW

UPDATE: A new report has additional details on AEW names that WWE reportedly reached out. Fightful Select reports that according to WWE sources, the prevously-reported Malakai Black had indicated to contacts in WWE that he wished he was still there. There were those in management at AEW that believed Black wanted to go back to the company and some higher ups who were of the “if they want to go, let them” mindset. As noted, Black has reportedly received a conditional release, though details on the release are not known.

The report notes that a source in WWE said that they’d heard about “feelers” being sent out to FTR, who WWE tried to re-sign several times before they went to AEW. The two have “a while” left on their AEW contracts. Swerve Strickland was also a name that is “known” within AEW to have been contacted by WWE; Strickland’s old NXT stable Hit Row was brought back to the company and is working on Smackdown.

Finally, an AEW source said that WWE had reached out in August to someone who had been with AEW from the start. There’s no details on who, other than the source saying that people would be surprised to know who it was.

ORIGINAL: As previously reported, Malakai Black requested his release from AEW and is no longer with the company. It was reported that he was given a conditional release, although exact details regarding the nature of that are unknown. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that Black was one of the talents contacted by WWE in recent weeks, prior to AEW sending WWE a legal notice about tampering. At the time, Black was under a five-year deal with AEW.

The belief is that Black’s conditional release allows him to work for independent promotions but has a non-compete with WWE for some time. It’s unknown where he will end up as he has said he is taking time away to “recalibrate.”

When Triple H took over WWE creative and talent relations, WWE contacted several former talents in AEW. Black was not the only wrestler to ask for his release. Other talents didn’t ask for a release, as they are happy with AEW, and contacted AEW management. That led to the cease and desist from head of legal Megha Parekh.

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Malakai Black, Joseph Lee