Earlier this month, reports began to emerge stating that Malakai Black had requested his AEW release in order to deal with mental health issues, a rumour that was only further amplified when Black bowed and blew a kiss to the Chicago crowd following his bout at the All Out PPV. Black would later take to social media to confirm these reports, and has since had his release granted by the company, albeit a conditional release with a seemingly lengthy non-compete clause.
Another House of Black member recently followed Malakai out of the door, as it was reported yesterday by Fightful Select that Buddy Matthews is also seemingly done with the company, leading to speculation that the pair may be WWE-bound. Fightful Select’s latest report, however, indicates that this may not be a certainty just yet despite the speculation, as at least one AEW source believes the pair will be back with the company within the next few months.
“Malakai Black asking for his release had several higher ups in AEW to think that he just wanted out to go to WWE, and he’d told at least one WWE talent he wished he was there. AEW officials also thought that the situation had been smoothed over before All Out. At least one AEW source believes that we’ll end up seeing Buddy Matthews and Malakai Black back in the company within a few months, and said that AEW had no intent of releasing Black to go elsewhere last month.”-Fightful
Multiple sources have reported over the past few days that Triple H has contacted a number of former WWE talents that are currently contracted to AEW, with Black and Matthews both said to be on Levesque’s list of acquisitions he hopes to secure.
Elsewhere in the report, Fightful noted that Swerve Strickland was another name contacted by WWE over a potential return, although he immediately referred this to his attorney and reportedly has no interest in returning to the company currently. Swerve’s tag-team partner Keith Lee was also rumoured to have been contacted by his former employer, however contrary to the rumours, Fightful were informed that Lee is yet to have been contacted.
Fightful then issued a rumour-killer on the speculation that Bobby Fish had asked his Undisputed Elite stablemates Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly to also follow him to WWE, stating that numerous AEW sources vehemently denied this rumour, whilst WWE sources additional noted that they haven’t held talks with Fish despite the speculation.
Another rumour-killer issued focused on Miro, with the former TNT Champion having been another name doing the rounds as someone believed to have been contacted by WWE. Whilst Fightful were unable to confirm whether or not this is the case, they were able to shut down reports stating that The Redeemer had requested his release.
Time will tell as to whether any other AEW talents will attempt to make the jump to WWE now that the new Triple H-led regime is in place.