Prior to Bray Wyatt rejoining WWE in October 2022, there had been plenty speculation that the multi-time world champion could instead join AEW.
Now courtesy of new information revealed in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter from Dave Meltzer, we now perhaps know just how far the negotiations got between the two parties and why they ultimately fell through.
At one point TNT was told of a date for him to debut in AEW, but it fell through, believed to be money related.
At the time, it was heavily believed that the September 29, 2021 AEW Dynamite was Wyatt’s expected AEW debut date.
While Wyatt ultimately never debuted in AEW, many of his friends and former colleagues currently work for Tony Khan’s company.
This was evident in the wake of Wyatt’s passing on August 24, as tributes poured in from all corners of the wrestling world, including at AEW’s historic All In pay-per-view on August 27 where the House of Black paid homage with their entrance, and Renee Paquette quoting Wyatt at the start of the pre-show.
AEW CEO Tony Khan has also reportedly granted time off to any AEW employee to attend Wyatt’s funeral services when they happen.
Wyatt, real name Windham Rotunda, passed away aged 36 on Thursday, August 24.
WWE recently released a 35-minute video of several stars talking about the death of Wyatt and the impact that the real-life Windham Rotunda had upon them. You can watch that video below this article.
The Monday, August 28 Raw followed suit, as the video package that was played on SmackDown was shown on Raw too, with Wyatt’s entrance music being played in the arena and a spotlight being shone on a rocking chair on the stage.
Seth Rollins, who emotionally paid tribute to Wyatt at a house show over the weekend, also went the extra mile on Raw.
He started his in-ring promo by saying Yowie-Wowie, a catchphrase of Wyatt during The Fiend era, and there was another reference as well.
Rollins’ WWE World Heavyweight Championship belt was modified to have a Rollins logo on one sideplate, and a Fiend mask logo on the other.
As the show went off the air, Lynch held up her “Bray” armband and broke down in tears, and after the show she shared a heartwarming story about Wyatt with the audience.
The aforementioned video package was also played during the following night’s NXT, with commentators Vic Joseph and Booker T noticeably joining in with the crowd in holding up their “fireflies” in Wyatt’s memory.
WWE has added the following note to the item descriptions for Wyatt merch on the WWE Shop website:
In the wake of Bray Wyatt’s death, WWE will donate all net proceeds to support JoJo Offerman and his children.
You can find said merch at this link.
On Thursday, August 24, Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful reported:
I was given permission to reveal that earlier this year Windham Rotunda (Bray Wyatt) got COVID that exacerbated a heart issues.
There was a lot of positive progress towards a return and his recovery. Unfortunately today he suffered a heart attack and passed away.
Our thoughts and condolences continue to be with the family, friends, and everyone affected by the passing of Windham Rotunda.
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