Jeff Hardy has confirmed a move to AEW, a few more names are joining him, details of AJ Styles’ new contract have been revealed, and more.
It’s Thursday morning and it’s time to catch up on all the latest wrestling news, I’m Liam Winnard for WrestleTalk.com, and this is our audio news bulletin for February 24, 2022.
Listen to this morning’s round-up here:
Jeff Hardy Confirms He’s Joining AEW
Ever since Jeff Hardy was released by WWE late last year, the expectation was that he’d show up in AEW when he’s able to, and, well, the man himself has now confirmed that will be the case.
Speaking in an interview with Jared Myers that took place at a recent Jeff Hardy concert, Hardy said: “I’m going to AEW, I’m so excited”.
He will officially become a free agent on March 10, which is quite unfortunately the day after the Dynamite after Revolution and the March 11 Rampage is being taped March 9 as well, so we’d probably have to wait until March 16 for his actual debut.
This hasn’t stopped AEW teasing his debut for the past number of weeks, making constant references to Matt Hardy’s quote “erratic behavior”, which is purposely the same phrase that was thrown around when Jeff was released by WWE.
As we know by now, WWE expected him to fail a drug test, he didn’t, and when they realised they’d made a mistake, they tried to re-sign him and even offered him a Hall of Fame spot to persaude him, but he said no.
Several Other Names Joining AEW
Jeff is far from the only person coming into AEW in the near future though. We’ll start with one that we know for 100% sure because we saw it with our own eyes last night, as Buddy Matthews, the former Buddy Murphy, debuted on Dynamite.
Matthews aligned himself with the House of Black and helped Malakai Black and Brody King attack Penta Oscuro – Penta’s dark side that was awakened because of this ongoing feud – and Pac.
Tony Khan took to Twitter after the segment to officially announce that Buddy Matthews is All Elite.
He’s not the only former WWE name coming in though, as Fightful Select reported yesterday that ‘Sw3rve The Realest’, formerly known as Shane Strickland and Isaiah Scott, is on his way into AEW starting the first week of March.
The report also made a specific point of saying AEW sees Swerve as someone who can be used as a crossover star – which could be things similar to what Cody Rhodes was doing in terms of appearing on other WarnerMedia shows, and stuff like that.
Fightful had also reported that Ring of Honor World Champion Jonathan Gresham was backstage at last night’s Dynamite, although didn’t necessarily say that he was expected to sign, so maybe he was there for a different reason.
In related news, Tony Khan has said he has a quote “massive” AEW announcement coming soon, but is currently under an NDA so can’t provide any details. He did compare it to The Last Dance, which was of course CM Punk’s debut, so whatever it is, Khan clearly sees it as a big deal.
AJ Styles Re-Signs With WWE
One name that won’t be heading to AEW any time soon though is AJ Styles, who recently re-signed with WWE for several more years.
According to Fightful Select, Styles’ contract was set to expire in the spring or summer, meaning he re-signed before legally being able to talk with any other companies.
The report also said that Styles will be bringing in well over $3 million per year as part of the deal, as well as having some other expenses paid for such as bus travel accomodations.
Fightful was told that Styles “deserved every penny” he’ll be making and “would easily make that back for the company”.
In other little bits of news…
Coming out of last night’s AEW Dynamite, several new matches were announced for the March 6 Revolution pay-per-view. The currently announced card is as follows:
- AEW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP – Adam Page (c) vs. Adam Cole
- DOG COLLAR MATCH – CM Punk vs. MJF
- SINGLES MATCH – Bryan Danielson vs. Jon Moxley
- SINGLES MATCH – Chris Jericho vs. Eddie Kingston
- AEW WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP – Britt Baker (c) vs. Thunder Rosa
- FACE OF THE REVOLUTION LADDER MATCH – Keith Lee vs. Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Ricky Starks vs. Wardlow vs. 2 TBD
- AEW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP – Jurassic Express (c) vs. reDRagon vs. TBD
- TBS CHAMPIONSHIP – Jade Cargill (c) vs. Tay Conti
- TORNADO TRIOS MATCH – Andrade El Idolo, Isiah Kassidy & Matt Hardy vs. Darby Allin, Sammy Guevara & Sting
AEW also confirmed last night that this year’s Double Or Nothing is set for the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 29.
The XFL announced a partnership with the NFL, and one byproduct of this might be that The Rock could be too busy doing promotion to be able to work WrestleMania 39, where the plan has been for him to face Roman Reigns.
Speaking of the Rock, he took to Instagram for a passionate post about Montez Ford, praising Ford and labelling him as a future world champion.
PWInsider reported that the match between Ford’s wife Bianca Belair and Doudrop on this past Monday’s Raw was getting a lot of praise backstage.
Dave Meltzer mentioned that WWE is planning on always having some integrating feuds between the main roster and NXT, so when Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode’s current program is done, expect to see another main roster star working with someone from NXT.
It was announced that Trish Stratus will be hosting two WWE house shows in Canada on March 26 and 27.
Dax Harwood was the latest guest on Renee Paquette’s podcast, and there were a couple of interesting stories coming out of it. The one that got the most traction was Harwood’s story about having an emotional heart to heart backstage with Shawn Michaels at Raw 25, but then when they were in front of Michaels’ pals, he actually made fun of Harwood for what he’d opened up about.
And one other story that kind of went under the radar because of that one was that FTR handed over trademarks that they’d spent between 10 and 20 thousand dollars on to WWE in exchange for being released early instead of having their wait extended.
Pat McAfee talked about Cody Rhodes potentially joining WWE, joking that AEW is “terrible” and that Rhodes should return as Stardust. When he stopped joking he did actually say he’s excited about the prospect of Rhodes returning.
Hit Row announced their new group name is the HitMakerZ and announced their GCW debut for April 1, although there was no Swerve advertised, just the other three, which maybe has something to do with his AEW deal.
Angelico announced that he’ll be making an official announcement to address rumors regarding his career. Since he was one of the early AEW signees there’s speculation that he might be one of the names that isn’t re-signed.
And in an update on Madcap Moss’ condition after that horrifying bump from Elimination Chamber, he somewhat miraculously passed all medical tests and all seems to be well.
Be sure to stay tuned to WrestleTalk.com throughout the day to keep up with all the news from the world of pro-wrestling, and I’ll see you tomorrow for another round-up.
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