SHOCKING! Over a Dozen WWE Superstars Turn Down New Contracts

Published 01/02/2021, 12:51 AM EST
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 11: A WWE logo is shown on a screen before a WWE news conference at T-Mobile Arena on October 11, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was announced that WWE wrestler Braun Strowman will face heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury and WWE champion Brock Lesnar will take on former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez at the WWE’s Crown Jewel event at Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 31. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)


The landscape of professional wrestling changed big time in 2019 with the debut and rise of AEW. From Matt Hardy and FTR to Sting – 2020 saw quite a few former WWE Superstars making their debut for AEW. AEW’s rise has played a significant role in influencing WWE talents’ contract negotiations with Vince McMahon.

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WWE Superstars turn down contracts

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According to a report by Fightful Select, many WWE Superstars across Raw, SmackDown, and NXT have turned down recent contracts that WWE offered them. It is reported that the Superstars turned down the contracts as they were far less than what was being offered to talent in 2019.

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, WWE has gone into release mode. The company released over 100 on and off screen personnel as part of their budget cuts in April 2020. Vince McMahon‘s company was signing wrestlers from all over before the pandemic.

TOKYO,JAPAN – JUNE 29: Cesaro and Ricochet compete during the WWE Live Tokyo at Ryogoku Kokugikan on June 29, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)

In fact, WWE was even offering a good deal to talent just to ensure they don’t leave WWE and end up signing with AEW; the priorities have changed now. The company is no longer in “save talent from signing with AEW” mode.

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Over a dozen wrestlers across the three brands have turned down new deals while some are skeptical about signing right now. The deals are probably far less than what was being offered to talent earlier. Some expect things to get better before considering new deals.

DUESSELDORF, GERMANY – FEBRUARY 22: Sami Zayn arrives during to the WWE Live Duesseldorf event at ISS Dome on February 22, 2017 in Duesseldorf, Germany. (Photo by Lukas Schulze/Bongarts/Getty Images)

As of now, WWE has no issues with talent waiting for better deals. The company made record profits in Q3 alone this year. Yet, they’re having a tough time providing good deals to talent, or perhaps it just depends on who it is. Either way, wrestlers are smart enough to decide for themselves.

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Wrestlers didn’t have an ocean of opportunities five years ago like they have today. You can say that it has given the control stick in the hands of the talent themselves. Let’s see whether these reported wrestlers who turned down contracts sign a new one or find their way outside WWE’s fold.

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Ishan Chavan

537 articles

Ishan Chavan is a WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports. Being a Journalism graduate, Ishan has over six years of experience in the Media Production Industry, having worked with Viacom 18's streaming platform, Voot. A wrestling fan since childhood, Ishan's favorite wrestlers are Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, and Chris Jericho as he feels these three have the perfect blend of wrestling and promo skills, especially Jericho.

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