News on WWE's Change in Thinking Regarding Releasing Wrestlers & AEW Competition


-- In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WWE’s mentality in signing wrestlers to contracts was discussed. Back in 2019, the company ended up locking in far more talent than they needed to deals and this continued until last year, primarily as a way to keep wrestlers from signing with AEW. That mindset has apparently shifted now based on two realities.

-- The first is that WWE realizes that AEW won’t beat them in the 18-49 demographic by the end of the year and the second is that WWE by stockpiling talent won’t be putting AEW out of business anytime soon. In the past, WWE vastly overpaid its wrestlers (by its own standards) - Braun Strowman’s $1.2 million annual salary is an example - as a way to ensure talent wouldn’t leave and there was also a time when they refused to grant releases. In the present situation, WWE is now letting people go well before their contracts are up, seemingly no longer worried about them going to AEW.