As the wrestling world buzzes with the whispers and roars of fans and insiders alike, one narrative has become particularly prevalent: WWE’s increased caution when it comes to interacting with wrestlers from rival promotions like All Elite Wrestling (AEW).
This recent behaviour suggests a strategic shift within WWE, one driven by a desire to avoid allegations of contract tampering and potential legal consequences’‹.
WWE: History of Cross-Promotion Interaction
In the wrestling industry, the extent of interaction between promotions and wrestlers under contract with rivals has seen considerable variation over the years.
From Chris Jericho’s memoirs, we know that WWE was overtly pursuing him while he was still with WCW back in 1999 (via WrestlingINC).
These instances are not unprecedented, but lately, the landscape seems to have changed with everyone treading more carefully’‹.
Shifting Towards Prudence
At present, WWE appears to be exercising an exceptional degree of caution.
This stems from an apparent concern over potential accusations of contract tampering by AEW, and an unwillingness to complicate its own ongoing legal situation with Major League Wrestling (MLW).
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter has shed light on this, highlighting WWE’s current approach to dealing with contracted wrestlers from rival promotions’‹.
Implications for Wrestlers: Case of Rush and Andrade El Idolo
This trend becomes clear when considering recent happenings in the wrestling world. The contracts of Rush and Andrade El Idolo, both signed with AEW, have recently been in the spotlight.
Rumours are heating up in Mexico about the status of these contracts, with speculations that Rush’s one-year AEW contract is set to expire soon.
Meanwhile, Andrade announced that his June 15 match in Laguna would be his last in the area for some time, even though AEW does not restrict his Mexican bookings’‹.
Andrade’s Contract: A Puzzle
The situation gets intriguing with Andrade. In April, he claimed that his contract would be up “very soon”, despite earlier stating that his contract would run until June 2024.
This confusion is compounded by potential time added to his contract due to an injury layoff. This case reflects the complexities that can arise in the wrestling industry and demonstrates why WWE’s increased caution could be a sensible move’‹.
WWE’s Past Encounters with AEW Talent
Despite the current cautious stance, it’s worth noting that WWE had reportedly made contact with some AEW talent in the past.
This was a story that AEW CEO Tony Khan backed up months later. It remains to be seen whether this will happen again given the changing dynamics and WWE’s apparent effort to avoid any form of controversy that could lead to accusations of contract tampering’‹.