Last week was a dark day for wrestling as WWE laid off a large number of superstars from mainly the main roster and a handful from NXT.
I said at the time; it wasn’t right for us to speculate where these wrestlers will be heading next but now seems like a good time to predict where some of these names will be heading.
For some cases, it will be AEW, but in the young promotion’s life, Tony Khan must know going too hard with no live revenue coming in will be risky. Their roster is getting nearly full as it is, especially if (as we all expect to see) Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler (formerly Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) join once audiences can return.
With that said, I do believe a couple of the released WWE talent will make their way over considering recent comments and actions on social media.
All Elite Wrestling
Let’s start with the obvious one.
The former Zack Ryder closest friends in the business is one Cody Rhodes and when the news broke The American Nightmare took to social media to praise him.
Due to their close friendship, it would be a no brainer once the no-compete clause expires Cardona will sign up and join the AEW roster.
He could come in a have great matches with the likes of MJF, Sammy Guervara, Pac etc and we could see him be a member of The Elite.
The one thing said against AEW is the women’s roster and especially babyfaces.
As it seems like Nyla Rose will be dominating the roster for the time being and Kris Statlander, Bea Prestley and Big Swole the future.
The company will need a woman to match Rose’s power, and in Logan’s case she could become a breakout star and even though it’s hard to see that way considering her last couple of months in WWE was to be squashed by both Charlotte Flair and Shayna Baszler.
The former Riott Squad member, most likely return to her Crazy Mary Dobson indie name could have a second life at All Elite Wrestling.
However, according to Cultaholic, we may see Logan return to WWE once everything returns to somewhat normality.
New Japan Pro Wrestling
Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows
Once we heard the surprising news of The Good Brothers getting their release after just signing brand new deals with WWE, there was only one place they’ll be going.
Gallows and Anderson had their best years at NJPW as members of the Bullet Club and was part of the group when more western eyes were turning towards the promotion. During that time, they were arguably the best tag team in the world.
Despite the fan fair, WWE never quite knew how to book the tag team until recently forming The O.C with AJ Styles.
After the news broke, Gallows got onto social media and cut a promo indicating the return of his Machine Gun persona.
It makes sense they’ll return to the place they made their names and to the Bullet Club.
Rush is only 25 years old and is an incredibly talented athlete and would kill it in AEW having matches with the likes of Sammy Guevara, Darby Allin and Cody Rhodes.
However, with rumours of backstage issues, maybe another major American wrestling promotion isn’t the right environment for Rush for the time being.
So at still at a young age, why not head east and take on some of the best Jr Heavyweights and kill it with some long, epic battles with the likes of Zack Sabre Jr, Hiromu Takahashi and Will Osprey.
If he killed it out there with a title ruin, Rush could return to the States being the hottest free agent in wrestling.
Rusev leaving WWE has been rumoured for a long time, and it could be possible he wasn’t going to sign a contract so this release was a fast track.
It boggles the mind that WWE dropped the ball on him after a great start being unbeaten for the year and going into Wrestlemania 31 on a tank!! The defeat did sour his character, but the Bulgarian changed his character to Rusev Day to incredible success.
Now, as a character, Rusev could go anywhere and be a success. As a wrestler, he could become even better. Jim Ross has already stated he thinks AEW should go for him and he would be beloved there.
However, the idea of seeing Rusev going to New Japan and wrecking shop in the heavyweight division would be a wonderful sight to behold.
The downside is would he want to be away from Lana for 18 months to two years as she’s recently signed a new deal with WWE unless at some point in first 12 months can leave to be with her husband.
That would be the only reason why he wouldn’t go with AEW, Impact, NWA etc have a better chance.
Purrazzo seems to be someone that was wasted on NXT having ripped it up on the indies for years before signing with the black-and-gold brand.
She was used sparingly, at best. While there are some arguments to have her move to help the women’s division on AEW, I want to see her doing something instead of waiting to rise up the racking.
Which is why going to Impact and being part of the Knockouts division could a match made in heaven.
The company has a wealth of talented women like Tessa Blanchard, current champion Jordynne Grace, Su Yung, Tessa Dashwood, Taya Valkyrie, to name a few.
WWE long-timer Slater has followed his fellow 3MB members and been released but has his former band members showed it could be the beginning of something great.
We’d all love to see him get shredded and return to win the WWE title.
However, his first stop should be Impact, and I think it could be the perfect home. He would have the ideal storyline going in teaming up with former tag champ Rhino.
Mike and Maria Kanellis
Mike had great success as The Miracle in Impact to the point when he signed with WWE bypassing NXT to go straight into the main roster.
The gimmick seemed great as an annoying loved up couple with the best theme song in the company.
After quickly falling down the pecking order they made the best of anything given to them, but it’s known for some time he wanted to leave and wrestle more than at best once a week.
Returning to Impact as The Miracle, under the name of Mike Bennett, can say the professional wrestling Jesus has been reborn to save the World Championship and enter a feud with Tessa Blanchard and could have some great matches.
As for a broader global scale of the wrestling indies, we could see some great things to comes from these two former superstars.
Following his release, the former EC3, Michael Hunter Hutter (Mike Hunter would be a great indie/ future wrestling name) followed the likes of Jon Moxley and Drew McIntyre using a video promo to introduce a new character.
He could go straight into AEW and as his recent video hinted and feuded with MJF, but a run in the indies could do the character some buzz for promotions like PWG, ROH and come across the pond and join Progress.
One man that could be joining him at Progress is the former Drake Maverick. He’ll likely return to his Rockstar Spud persona and go on a tour of some top UK and European indie promoters.
As well as Progress, I could see him showing up at Rev Pro and with the reception in the scene having him come to the south coast and be part of Riptide Wrestling wouldn’t be a shock but I’d lose my mind if he did come out.
Then there’s Germany’s WxW and OTT in Ireland.
Finally, after his tearful message, I wouldn’t be surprised if WWE were going to re-sign anyone first it would be Drake Maverick.