On December 28th it was confirmed that Dragon Lee had signed a deal to join WWE in January 2023.
The 27-year-old star made the announcement just minutes after winning the AAA Tag Team Titles from FTR alongside his brother Dralistico. Immediately after the victory, the pair vacated their newly won titles with Lee revealing he was heading to WWE.
AEW Made Offer To Dragon Lee Before WWE Deal
Writing in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer has now offered some more details on the agreement and how it come together. Meltzer noted that there had been interest in Lee from WWE in the past, but he was loyal to New Japan at the time and secured a better deal with Ring of Honor.
In August 2022, Lee appeared on AEW television teaming with RUSH and Andrade El Idolo. This led some to believe that if Lee headed to the United States it would be to become All Elite. Interestingly, Meltzer adds that the AEW did make the star an offer but he decided to join WWE. The belief is that he will be the highest-paid star in NXT, but will be earning less than “main roster money.”
“AEW had also made an offer to Lee… From a money standpoint, it was obviously more than Mexico but we were told the WWE offer was above the standard NXT-level money, but not main roster money. WWE contracts have a confidentiality clause in that the talent and their representatives are not allowed to reveal the dollar amount. If he was to get called up to the main roster, the general rule is a new contract is signed and the bottom number for the main roster is $250,000 per year.
The belief is that he would be the highest paid NXT wrestler now that Mandy Rose is no longer working with the brand. It’s a three-year deal and does call for pay increases with each year, but the hope and certainly the feeling he was given is he would have a main roster contract and be brought up in 2024.”
Meltzer also reports that the signing of Lee was completed “a few weeks ago” and that AAA and AEW were aware of it.
It has been reported elsewhere that the signing of Dragon Lee by WWE will just be the beginning, with more “high quality” names expected to join the company soon.