So, is The Viper going to AEW?
“Tick tock tick tock,” Randy Orton posted on Instagram, along with himself in front of an Elite Level plaque and tagged WWE and AEW stars Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder (The Revival), Luke Harper, Riddick Moss, Cody Rhodes, and Chris Jericho.
To start, Orton’s contract with WWE ends in 2020 (he signed a ten year deal in 2010) and he most likely wants to go somewhere new and face new challenges. It makes sense, as he’s barely used except to put someone over or to boost sagging ratings. It also falls into line with the thinking of other superstars that have made similar claims.
Wrestlers want challenges and to work
A perfect example of this is Chris Jericho. After signing with AEW, Jericho said in an interview on Busted Open Radio that going back to the WWE was the safe choice, but he wanted a challenge, something new. Hence his reason for signing AEW.
Similar sentiments were made by Mike Kanellis when he publicly asked for his release from the WWE (which was declined).
Luke Harper has a long history of trying to walk away from the WWE, only to be turned down for various reasons. Now, despite making a splash with his return and joining Erick Rowan, he hasn’t signed a contract extension yet. Currently, and assuming he doesn’t get injured again, his contract will end somewhere in mid 2020, give or take.
Two others tagged in the post, Wilder and Dawson, reportedly haven’t resigned with WWE despite getting a big push and being given Smackdown’s tag team championship.
The thing is, they know there are other companies out there and they may want to test those waters to see if they can make a name for themselves there.
Is there any truth to this?
Not only did he tag Jericho and Cody Rhodes, but Jericho responded back with:
This will bring about a major dynamic shift between the two companies. Vince McMahon will feel like he’s being betrayed like when Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash left for WCW in the 1990s.
Those greats were some of the biggest stars at the time as well as the most decorated in WWE history, but they left for their own reasons. Sure, Eric Bischoff flashed the money and probably approached them, but they felt they needed a change. Especially Randy Savage, who had been told he didn’t have what it took to compete anymore and was relegated to commentary by Vince McMahon.
This time, it looks like it’s entirely the wrestlers doing the networking among themselves by showing interest and reaching out.
Given his desire to control the entire professional wrestling world, this is not going to sit well with McMahon.
If only he realized he bred this type of thing by burying his superstars.