WWE Reportedly Interested In AEW Star, Sarray Departs WWE, AEW International Title
Brian Cage reportedly hesitant to re-sign with AEW
Backstage Update On Brian Cage's AEW Contract Status, Reported Interest From WWE
BY BEN F. SILVERIO/UPDATED: MARCH 8, 2023 6:01 PM EST
From the beginning, Brian Cage's contract situation with AEW has been complicated. When it was first announced that he had joined AEW, he was still entertaining offers from Impact Wrestling to stay a part of their roster. But things got messier when "The Machine" sustained an injury ahead of his match with Rob Van Dam at Hard to Kill in 2020. Ultimately, the former Lucha Underground star became All Elite while healing from that bicep tear. Now, as his AEW deal is reaching its end point, his time on the shelf may be affecting the expiration of his pact.
According to Fightful Select, Cage AEW's contract was originally set to be up sometime between late January and mid-February. But due to his time missed recovering from injury at the beginning of his run, Tony Khan was looking to keep Cage in the fold until the end of June, at the very least. However, despite a contract extension currently on the table comparable to his current terms and influential backstage voices like Chris Jericho advocating for him, Cage is said to be showing some hesitation to re-up.
WWE has reportedly shown interest in and are willing to engage in talks with the former FTW Champion should he become a free agent. And while Cage may be leaning toward exploring all of his options before agreeing to a fresh deal anywhere, he has reached an agreement with Khan to keep working together through Ring of Honor's Supercard of Honor pay-per-view at the end of March. It's expected he and the rest of his Embassy comrades will defend the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship there — titles they likely will not hold onto if Cage is showing signs of heading out the door.
WINC Podcast (3/8): AEW Dynamite Review, Brian Cage/AEW, Liv Morgan
Tokyo Sports announced on Wednesday night that "WWE NXT" star Sarray is exiting the company at the expiration of her contract. Fightful Select adds that the "beginning of the end" happened in early 2022 when a number of her biggest supporters behind the scenes were let go, including William Regal. With a lack of creative direction, "the writing was on the wall" by last spring.
AEW had apparently been planning to rename AEW's fledgling All-Atlantic Championship to the AEW International Championship for months. According to Fightful Select, Warner Bros Discovery approached AEW for "something big" to cross-promote the upcoming "Shazam" sequel, with Khan reportedly being the one to come up with the idea of "leveling up" the All-Atlantic Title. Khan is said to have commissioned a new belt "months ago" in preparation for the announcement.
Chris Jericho told Renee Paquette on "The Sessions" podcast this week that the idea anyone other than AEW owner Tony Khan gets a final say on creative decisions is inaccurate. "I knew it was going to be like this from the moment we started the whole concept of [executive vice presidents] and kind of that whole thing, and I knew that it wouldn't really mean anything because it's one boss, it's one vision, and we have to follow that vision," Jericho said. "I worked for Vince for 20 years and one of the reasons why I was able to get as far as I did and become as big as it is because I understood you have to do what your boss wants. It doesn't matter if you like it or not; it doesn't matter if you think your stuff is better."
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