Former WWE stars Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman may have found their new homes.
According to a report from the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t SEScoops), Wyatt—real name Windham Rotunda—is likely headed to Impact Wrestling or AEW and could debut for the latter on the September 29th edition of AEW Dynamite while Strowman—real name Adam Scherr—is “in talks” with Impact about a possible deal with the company.
Wyatt and Strowman were surprisingly released by WWE earlier this year despite being pushed as two of the company’s biggest stars over the past several years. WWE’s shocking decision to cut ties with Wyatt was reportedly due to “budget cuts,” and Strowman was also let go because of his massive salary but also due to the internal belief that he was “two years past his peak.”
WWE, of course, dropped the ball with both stars on a number of occasions during their runs with the company. Strowman should have won his first title when he was red hot in 2017, and the ideal time and place for that would have been at No Mercy that year when he faced Brock Lesnar. Wyatt—under his innovative “The Fiend” character—should have been booked as a modern day version of The Undertaker, but his gimmick quickly ran out of steam thanks to an incredibly underwhelming feud with Seth Rollins and a short-sighted loss to Goldberg.
Both Wyatt and Strowman were booked so badly in recent years, however, that WWE decided to cut both stars loose despite their obvious potential to be main eventers or even world champions elsewhere. Wyatt, in particular, had a really strong fan base in WWE, where he was once its No. 1 merchandise seller ahead of the likes of Roman Reigns and Becky Lynch.
Wyatt’s undeniable popularity has unsurprisingly made him a hot commodity upon the pending expiration of his 90-day non-compete clause. There have long been plenty of rumblings about Wyatt potentially jumping to AEW, but there are also just as many questions about how well Wyatt would fit in there or whether AEW should even consider signing him given that the company has recently brought in a number of ex-WWE names.
The widespread belief is that, if Wyatt does end up in AEW, he could take over as the leader of The Dark Order, which would be a natural fit for him given Dark Order’s recent issues and how close Wyatt was to the late Brodie Lee, the former leader of The Dark Order. Impact Wrestling might be a better overall fit for Wyatt in part because he’d be one of the few big fish in a small pond there, but Impact has lost a lot of steam in recent years due largely to the rise of AEW.
Strowman, despite being one of pro wrestling’s best big men, doesn’t seem to be a particularly great fit for AEW at the moment, either. AEW is jam-packed with a number of ex-WWE names, and Strowman—who appears to be going under the new name of “Titan” or something similar—is limited in what he can do both in the ring and as a character. Thus, Impact would actually be a great place for him to reinvent himself and potentially improve his overall abilities as a performer.
It remains to be seen, though, if WWE will have interest in either star given AEW’s obvious momentum upswing. WWE reportedly had a case of seller’s remorse not long after the company let Strowman go and expressed interest in re-signing the behemoth as AEW continued to scoop up a plethora of ex-WWE standouts.
Wyatt and/or Strowman returning to WWE seems highly unlikely given their unceremonious releases, however, and the smart money is on the ultra-talented Wyatt making his way to AEW like so many ex-WWE stars have while Strowman looks to reinvigorate his career in Impact.