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AEW Releases 2023: Every star who LEFT this past year

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In the dynamic world of professional wrestling, 2023 has been a significant year for All Elite Wrestling (AEW), marked by numerous AEW releases and departures that reshaped its roster.

This article delves into the key figures who exited AEW in the past year, exploring the circumstances surrounding their departures and their contributions to the promotion.

AEW Releases: High-Profile Exits and Their Impact

CM Punk’s Controversial Departure

CM Punk, a marquee name in AEW, left the promotion following a backstage altercation at All In. His exit was one of the most talked-about events of the year, especially considering his subsequent return to WWE.

Jade Cargill: From Champion to New Horizons

Jade Cargill, the inaugural AEW TBS Champion, ended her AEW journey after losing her championship rematch. Her move to WWE marked a significant shift in her career trajectory.

Brian Pillman Jr.’s Transition

Brian Pillman Jr., who debuted in AEW in 2019, parted ways with the company in July when his contract expired. He has since made a name for himself in WWE NXT under the moniker Lexis King.

AEW Releases: Other Notable Departures

The Departure of Ace Steel

Ace Steel, initially brought back to collaborate with CM Punk for the Collision event, found himself released from AEW following Punk’s departure in September.

QT Marshall’s Exit

QT Marshall, known for heading the Nightmare Factory, left AEW, reportedly due to frustration over his perceived lack of recognition within the company.

Sonny Kiss and Fuego Del Sol

Sonny Kiss was discreetly removed from AEW’s roster page in September, with Tony Khan confirming the non-renewal of Kiss’s contract. Fuego Del Sol announced his departure in June, having debuted in May 2020.

AQA’s Brief Stint

AQA, the first wrestler to part ways with AEW in 2023, competed in seven matches during her tenure before her contract expired.

Trench and Zack Clayton

Trench, a member of Swerve Strickland’s Mogul Affiliates faction, left AEW without participating in any matches. Zack Clayton, also known for his appearance on Jersey Shore: Family Vacation, confirmed his exit in October.

Brock Anderson and The Bunny

Brock Anderson, son of wrestling legend Arn Anderson, and The Bunny, who debuted at Fyter Fest in June 2019, both announced their departures from AEW.

Vickie Guerrero and Dana Massie

Vickie Guerrero, who managed Nyla Rose and Marina Shafir, and Dana Massie, AEW’s Chief Marketing & Merchandising Officer, left their roles earlier in the year.

Rafael Morffi and Shawn Spears

Rafael Morffi, Vice President of Live Events/Touring, parted ways with AEW, and Shawn Spears recently revealed his intention to leave by the end of the year.

AEW Releases: The Aftermath of These Departures

These departures have left a noticeable impact on AEW’s roster and storylines. While some wrestlers have continued their careers in other promotions, others have taken different paths in the wrestling world.

The exits of such prominent figures have led to a reshuffling of the AEW landscape, paving the way for new talents and storylines to emerge.


  • Who was the most high-profile wrestler to leave AEW in 2023? CM Punk was arguably the most high-profile departure, especially given the circumstances surrounding his exit.
  • Did any of the departing AEW stars join WWE? Yes, several stars including CM Punk, Jade Cargill, and Brian Pillman Jr. joined WWE after leaving AEW.
  • What was the reason behind QT Marshall’s departure? QT Marshall reportedly left AEW due to frustration over his perceived lack of recognition within the company.
  • Were there any departures due to contract expirations? Yes, several wrestlers, including Brian Pillman Jr. and AQA, left AEW as their contracts expired.
  • Has AEW signed new talent following these departures? While this article focuses on departures, AEW typically signs new talent to fill gaps left by exiting wrestlers, though specific names were not discussed here.
Written by
Jake Skudder
Jake is an SEO-minded Combat Sports, Gaming and Pro Wrestling writer and successful Editor in Chief. He has more than ten years of experience covering mixed martial arts, pro wrestling and gaming across a number of publications, starting at SEScoops in 2012 under the name Jake Jeremy.