As of September 1st, multiple former WWE Superstars are now free agents, and able to sign with other companies.
Braun Strowman, Buddy Murphy, Aleister Black, Santana Garrett, Ruby Riott and Lana were all released on June 2nd. Each Superstar, other than Aleister Black, has been waiting out a 90-day non-compete clause following their departure.
Black, now known as Malakai Black, was able to debut with AEW on July 7th after a clerical error meant that his non-compete clause was for only 30 days. It transpired that Black’s non-compete clause hadn’t been updated since his time in NXT, meaning he was free to sign with AEW the following month.
Buddy Murphy, who has since become Buddy Matthews, had been counting down to his free agent status on social media with a series of videos. Upon becoming a free agent, Matthews posted a graphic of two hands breaking free from chains. The former Cruiserweight Champion has since deleted the tweet after fans highlighted the posts slavery connotations.
My apologies for the tweet I posted earlier today if it offended you. It wasn’t my intention AT ALL! And FAR from what I intended it to mean! deleted the the tweet. Once again. My apologies!
— Buddy Matthews (@WWE_Murphy) August 31, 2021
Ruby Soho, formerly Ruby Riott has also posted a series of new vignettes hinting at her next move.
The latest video finishes with a brief glimpse of a screen that says “Destination _ _ _ _ _ _ _.” The number of spaces has many wrestling fans speculating that Soho’s next appearance could be imminent. Chicago fits the seven-letter space with AEW heading back to the Windy City for All Out on the 5th of September.
Others on social media have pointed out that “IMPACT!” also fits. “Unknown” also fits the spaces with “Destination unknown, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby Soho” being the catchy refrain of the Rancid song that she is now named after.
Both Lana and Santana Garrett have both revealed that new things are coming, with Lana also teasing a move to AEW.
Meanwhile it is believed that Braun Strowman could be heading to IMPACT Wrestling. After it was reported that Strowman and Buddy Matthews could be signing with IMPACT, Strowman appeared to tease the move on social media. Posting on Twitter, Strowman wrote that people should always look to “make an impact.”
It has also been reported that IMPACT retain an interest in signing Bray Wyatt. The former World Champion was released by WWE on July 31st having not appeared on WWE television since the night after WrestleMania 37.
However, it appears that IMPACT face competition for ‘The Fiend’s’ signature, with reports saying that AEW is Wyatt’s most likely destination.
Speaking on his podcast Grilling JR, AEW announcer Jim Ross recently talked up Wyatt, describing him as “very talented” adding that he “won’t have any trouble finding work.”