These days, snatching up a wrestler isn’t as easy as it used to be. The likes of Lucha Underground not only have their performers under contract, but they also have no-compete clauses as well. Unlike back in the day, snatching up a performer isn’t as easy for the WWE. Contractual obligations aren’t the only hurdle the company is forced to climb over. Some of the top talents these days are unwilling to go to the WWE due lots of factors such as creative freedom and schedule flexibility. Again, this was unheard of back in the day but is now starting to become a reality in the business. We feature 10 performers that seem to be content with their current schedules and pro wrestling careers.
On the flip side, we’ll reveal 10 speculated names that might be changing promotion in the very near future. Some have aspirations to join the WWE while others might be on the move to other companies such as Impact Wrestling or New Japan. One wrestler in particular might be making the jump to Impact; if he does, this will shock the wrestling world. We’ll have more on that particular individual later on in the article.
From Okada to James Storm, this list features 10 pro wrestlers rumored to be on the verge of switching company and 10 that are staying put. Enjoy and like always, be sure to share the article with a friend. Let’s get started!
20 Switching Company - Marty Scurll
At the age of 30, Marty Scurll is starting to enter the prime of his career. No matter who the wrestler is, when you hit that age thoughts starts to creep in about your future.
He seems content with current gigs, however Scurll has admitted to wanting to work alongside Vince McMahon at some point. He addresses working with Vince along with a WWE gig – a company switch seems likely in the future;
“In terms of 'The Villain' and WWE, I'm pretty sure if they saw opportunity in me to make money, I'm sure they'd let me have a lot of creative freedom. But who knows if they do. I do see a lot of Villain shirts on their programming though. I would love to pick the brain of Vince McMahon. 'The Villain' and the 'Evil Genius' discussing the business over a steak dinner sounds divine." (Sportskeeda)
19 Staying Put - Jay Lethal
The current and two-time ROH Champion Jay Lethal is another wrestler strongly linked to the WWE in the last couple of years. The talent seems like the perfect fit for NXT. He can easily replicate success similar to NXT veterans like Kevin Owens and Bobby Roode.
However, Lethal’s focus isn’t on the WWE, the talent is more than happy with ROH these days. Perhaps he’ll finally join the WWE eventually; however that time isn’t right now;
“One funky thing that I do get tired of is when people say 'Hey man, quit wasting your time, go to WWE already.' First of all, I'm not wasting my time. I love what I do. I love Ring of Honor and I'm not interested in going anywhere right now.” (Source: Wrestlinginc)
18 Switching Company - Alberto Del Rio
Alberto Del Rio made it clear; he plans on returning to the WWE someday for one last run. However, given all the controversy with himself and various members of the company we can all agree that return shouldn’t happen any time soon.
He needs to keep active in the ring. According the recent speculation, he plans on doing that by revisiting a former company, Impact Wrestling. Del Rio was released by the company after no-showing an event. It appears that the smoke has finally settled with rumors of Del Rio returning to the company in the very near future.
17 Staying Put – Zack Ryder
We add a WWE name to the list of wrestlers staying put. The company has lots of names believed to be unhappy behind the scenes. Some are rumored to wanting out of their contract. Ryder is one of those names; however it appears as though he isn’t going anywhere. In fact, if the current speculation is true, Ryder might debut with the 205 Live brand in the near future. That wouldn’t be the worst scenario.
A wrestling in a similar position to Ryder is Apollo Crews. However, like Ryder he finally appears to be getting a push after interrupting one of Elias’ recent segments. We can all agree the push is long overdue!
16 Switching Company – Chris Jericho
Set to turn 48 in just a couple of weeks, Y2J continues to make wrestling headlines. His longevity and ability to recreate himself constantly is truly something else. The former WWE Champion might be on the move once again. However, this company switch doesn’t involve the WWE. Instead, the current rumor floating around is Jericho debuting for Impact Wrestling.
This would be a game-changing move but given his relationship with Don Callis, it is one that would make sense. This company switch has the potential to be really surprising and one that might infuriate Vince McMahon.
15 Staying Put - Dalton Castle
A former ROH World Champion, Dalton Castle is among the more popular and entertaining acts in the company. We’ve seen so many ROH talents make the jump to WWE in the past, therefore, it is only normal that many fans link Castle to a WWE run.
We might see the wrestler in a WWE ring at some point. However for the time being, his sole focus is on ROH:
“I don't think that is my next step at this moment. First thing is that I have another year left with Ring of Honor guaranteed so to think passed that would be unfair for the company that i work for and unfair to the effort I am putting on now.” (Wrestlinginc)
14 Switching Company - Bandido
WWE continues to scout talents from around the world. In the fall months, the company has sent various scouts out to the wrestling market in Mexico. Among one of the talents scouted, masked wrestler Bandido.
According to 411mania, not only did WWE scouts visit the talent but they also intend on signing Bandido. With Rey Mysterio back on WWE television, a potential signing can be facilitated. In fact, the two were partners at the recent All In event. Once Bandido’s other obligations get fulfilled, we might see the talent switch over to the WWE.
13 Staying Put - Tessa Blanchard
"I'm very grateful to be in Impact and honestly, if I'm being completely honest I was just going with my gut and signing with Impact was a feeling I had that was right for me and it will be right for me for the next two years.” (Source: Wrestlinginc)
This quote was issued out back in the summer just months ago. Clearly, given her contract with Impact she isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon at least for the next two years. Blanchard also admits she’s having a blast with Impact and that the company is a joy to work for these days – a sentiment felt by lots of the other talent.
12 Switching Company - James Storm
Storm is ready for the WWE. In the recent months, the former TNA Champion has issued out several quotes on how he’s ready for that road life once again. He also teased fans by posting a photo alongside a WWE employee. Clearly, Storm has a close relationship with the company; he was even spotted backstage during one of Paige’s Instagram story posts months ago.
His relationship with Impact appears to be broken, so the veteran really has limited options at this point in his career. When the time is right, we’ll see Storm back on NXT television.
11 Staying Put - Adam Page
A popular indie act, Adam Page has the mentality of a “millennial wrestler” so to speak. Like so many of the new talents making an impact outside of the WWE, Page has one focus and that’s allowing his creativity to shine – an aspect that will be lessened if joins the WWE. Page is totally content outside of the company and has no desire to switch for the time being:
“Going to WWE doesn’t feel important to me anymore. It’s not something I’m interested in. I really feel like in the past few years my goals have shifted from, ‘I want to accomplish X, Y, Z,’ to I want to make a good living for my family. “I want to have fun and I want to bring something new and fresh to fan’s eyes and have it be something they enjoy, no matter where it is, no matter what capacity. To have an outlet for creativity. That’s been my goal.” (Source: ESPN)
10 Switching Company – Robbie E
Just days ago Robbie E stirred things up via Twitter. He issued out a tweet with a photo of himself at the Performance Center. Of course, it was common knowledge for most fans that Robbie E had a tryout earlier in the summer.
We really haven’t’ heard much since the tryout. However, Green also tried out with Robbie, so the timing is pretty peculiar. Perhaps he’s also on the verge of a WWE deal in the next couple of months? It won’t be a stretch to see the former X-Division Champion inside an NXT ring the next couple of months.
9 Staying Put - Pentagon Jr.
This one hurts a little bit. Pentagon Jr. is arguably one of the best talents outside of the WWE these days. Clearly, the WWE has lots of interest in the wrestler, it was even rumored that a WWE signing was to take place in 2018 at one point.
However, a major letdown, according to recent news Pentagon isn’t going anywhere due to contractual obligations. Not only is Pentagon Jr. booked for dates with MLW in 2019 but he’s also under contract with the EL Rey Network till 2020 according to Ring Side News. For what it’s worth, Fenix is in the same boat as Pentagon.
8 Switching Company – Young Bucks/Kenny Omega
“Contract season is coming up, we’ll see what happens. It’s for our families, that’s basically what I think it comes down to at this point.” (Source: Sportskeeda)
This is what the Young Bucks had to say pertaining to a possible WWE deal. The family factor might be facilitated by joining the WWE. The Bucks are typically flying over to Japan – staying in the US market can make things a lot easier. It is said that WWE plans on making a big pitch for the trio come 2019; especially with the Fox deal looming, WWE needs something big. Adding in the difficulties with new ownership in New Japan, it might finally be time for the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega to make the jump.
7 Staying Put - Christopher Daniels
Sadly, Daniels might be one of the top talents in the world to never join the WWE in his wrestling prime. He joined the company in the late 90s however clearly; he wasn’t the performer he would evolve into later.
Daniels admits that he’s staying put and that a WWE return is less likely to go down due to his age;
“I don’t think so man. Honestly, I’m sure the WWE’s not looking for 48-year old rookies and that’s fine with me. The timing of my career worked out where when I might have been interesting to them, were times that I was under contract with TNA or Ring of Honor and that’s fine with me. I’m happy to build up Ring of Honor as best I can.” (Source: Sportskeeda)
6 Switching Company – Kevin Kross
It seems like there might be a little bidding war for the Impact talent. Kross, also wrestled for Global Force Wrestling - among his other companies, Lucha Libre AA and Lucha Underground.
According to recent news, both New Japan and WWE have interest in the 33 year old veteran. The timing seems a little off given he just started with Impact in the summer. However, given the interest from two of the biggest companies in pro wrestling a switch of company definitely seems likely at this point. Where he lands, that remains to be seen.
5 Staying Put - Walter
“I don’t know if I mentioned this but being a part of the Raw or SmackDown roster is nothing I am interested in. I don’t want to live in the US.” (Source Sportskeeda)
Despite all the rumors of Walter joining the WWE, the indie talent completely shut down all speculation with this recent statement. Walter admits he’s having a blast wrestling for the likes of Progress. Although, he did mention that he like the NXT product. Nonetheless, for the time being he has no intent on moving to the US and joining the WWE.
4 Switching Company - Tama Tonga
“Thanks OG Triple OGBC. Got some X members coming your way…don’t forget what they did to you” (Source: Twitter)
We’re not entirely sure if this is all a work. However, in the recent days, Tonga continues to tease a Bullet Club arrival. He issued out the tweet above to both former Bullet Club members Finn Balor and Karl Anderson. Now given the heat between some of the performers and the new ownership with New Japan, this particular company switch might be true and not some fantasy booking. Can it be, the Bullet Club to the WWE in the near future?
3 Staying Put - Will Ospreay
During an interview on Talk Is Jericho, Ospreay discussed his pro wrestling future. Unfortunately, it does not involve a company switch over to the WWE. The talent is more than content with his current gigs.
A lot of his happiness has to do with his scheduling and travel. Will basically books his own dates according to his convenience. The wrestler admits he hates to travel and that’s a big aspect of being a WWE Superstar. This is one of the biggest reasons he isn’t willing to commit to a WWE deal – at least for time being.
2 Switching Company – Chelsea Green
This is the latest breaking news. After months of speculation, Chelsea Green finally made it official, inking a WWE deal. The former Impact wrestler tried out for the company earlier in the summer. She is now a part of the company, recently announced as one of the newest recruits.
Among the other names to join Green; indie star Matt Riddle, former Impact Knockout Mia Yim and ROH talent Punishment Martinez. The company also signed a pair of athletes, former rugby player Daniel Vidot and college basketball player Jordan Omogbehin. Look for Yim, Green and Riddle to make an instant impact on the NXT program.
1 Staying Put - Kazuchika Okada
Okada backstage at the gorilla position during a WWE show sparked lots of rumors. Fans thought that he was potentially joining the company; it isn’t every day that a wrestler from a rival company not only attends a show but sits at the gorilla position.
Unfortunately, it is just speculation as Okada seems more than content remaining New Japan’s biggest star. When asked about the WWE, Okada mocked the company for booking someone like Nakamura in a championship program with Jinder Mahal. For the time being, this move won’t happen no matter how hard WWE tries.