2019 has seen several WWE Superstars ask for their release, but the news of Dean Ambrose's upcoming departure is the loudest data point in a terrible trend. And apparently, WWE has launched an effort to access their locker room.
Mike Johnson or PWInsider says that WWE approached a number of Superstars whose contracts are set to expire in the next few years and proactively discussed extensions.
"After the Dean Ambrose news came out on late Monday / early Tuesday, there was a buzz of activity backstage at SmackDown as anybody who had a contract that was coming up in the next year or two was pulled into room and spoken to by management about signing longer form deals, "said Johnson." All the wrestlers were sitting around looking at each other and would look at this? this is crazy! '”
There is a bit of an exodus to tend to as WWE has already reportedly denied The Revival and Mike and Maria Kanellis' release while granting Hideo Itami's exit. But news of Ambrose wanting to leave when his contract expires in April may have gotten WWE's attention. Especially with brand new, and well funded, All Elite Wrestling ready to spread its wings.
"There was definitely the realization that people could potentially leave to go to AEW. WWE might have been paying attention before it and monitoring it as Triple H said but was definitely a cause and effect between Dean Ambrose making the decision that he is leaving and that news coming out and everyone buzzing about it and then yesterday at SmackDown people being spoken to about deals, "said Johnson.
For almost two decades, WWE has enjoyed a monopoly of professional wrestling. the case in 201
So, Johnson's story adds up. r promotions. In the name of sealing its borders, WWE initiating contract negations with superstars make a lot of sense. However, if Ambrose lands in AEW and finds success, then WWE may not be able to offer enough to keep some superstars from hunting and similar fate.