Since Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque’s return to WWE as both the Head of Talent Relations and Head of Creative, multiple ex-WWE Superstars have been contacted regarding a possible return to the company, with the likes of Dakota Kai, Karrion Kross, and Johnny Gargano amongst others all having re-emerged across WWE TV over the past few weeks. By all accounts, WWE’s Talent acquisition process is far from over yet, as Fightful Select reported last month that the company had reached out to multiple AEW stars in an attempt to lure them back to WWE.
At the time, Fightful Select reported that a former WWE talent had been contacted by WWE talent relations, referred the contact to their attorney, and informed AEW management of the contact. This report has since been confirmed by multiple AEW sources, although Fightful are now reporting that there were multiple stars contacted by WWE over a potential return.
One specific name that is believed to have been contacted by WWE is Malakai Black. Fightful Select have now added further details to this developing story, noting that WWE sources stated to them that Malakai Black had indicated to contacts in the company that he wished he was still there.
The report them touches upon Malakai Black’s current situation following the confirmation of his conditional AEW release, interestingly noting that some within the company are of the belief that those wanting out should be given permission to leave, whilst some would seemingly prefer to keep hold of their talent regardless.
“As of now he’s effectively done with AEW, but with the inability to compete for WWE for an extended period. Several in AEW management were initially of the impression he wanted to go back to WWE. There were higher ups in AEW that are of the “if they want to go, let them,” mentality, however.”-Fightful
Shifting the focus towards a number of other names that WWE allegedly contacted over a potential return to the company, Fightful then reported that a source within WWE also stated that they heard feelers were sent out to Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood of FTR. The pair spent years working with Triple H as a part of the NXT roster before moving up to Raw and Smackdown, although they now find themselves tied to lengthy AEW contracts. WWE made numerous efforts to re-sign the duo under the Vince McMahon regime, however they ultimately chose to sign with AEW, where they now hold the AAA, IWGP, and ROH Tag Team Championships, whilst also being the number one contenders for the AEW World Tag Team Championships.
Fightful then noted that, amongst others, former AEW World Tag Team Champion Swerve Strickland is another former WWE star that was reached out to over a possible return to the company.
Somewhat surprisingly, it was also stated within the report that an AEW source told Fightful that WWE had reached out in August to a talent that had been with the company since the start, although nothing is currently known about who the name in question is.
The report closed by noting that Bruce Pritchard recently stated on his own podcast that WWE previously had refused to discuss much of anything with contracted talent in years past, potentially indicating a shift in the company’s acquisition processes under the Triple H-led regime.