A popular WWE star recently shocked a lot of fans by debuting on AEW television and it looks like the surprise may not have ended there.
Roderick Strong made his AEW debut on the April 26 episode of Dynamite with Tony Khan confirmed that the former NXT Diamond Mine member was now “All Elite.”
It had previously been reported that multiple release requests to WWE had been turned down.
Dave Meltzer has now provided an update in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (subscription required) that casts further light on the situation that Strong was in, writing:
“Strong’s WWE contract actually expired back in November according to two sources in WWE. What’s crazy is that most working for the promotion had no idea and he was still listed on the website.
“He had tried to give notice well before that and was turned down. We were told that the angle where they injured him was an injury cover as was everyone, but that was to be his farewell as they knew well in advance he wasn’t going to sign a new deal.
“He was still listed on the WWE site even after he made his surprise AEW debut.
“He had been hurting which is why he just returned last week, although he was planned for some time to be arriving shortly after the return of Adam Cole, who he’d be linked with.
“Kyle O’Reilly will also be part of the group upon his return. No word on when that return would be but he had neck fusion surgery.
“Almost nobody in WWE knew Strong’s contract was up, even though it was long ago, and were shocked when he was on the show.
“He was also kept hidden backstage so the word wouldn’t get out ahead of time.”
Per a previous report, some in WWE believed Strong’s contract was set to run into 2024.
Following his AEW debut, a photo was posted of Strong and Adam Cole reunited.
Reunited.@AdamColePro & @roderickstrong #AEWDynamite pic.twitter.com/jF3o0PqMR5
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) April 27, 2023
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