Not everyone wants to end up in the largest promotions, just look at these wrestlers who refused WWE and AEW contract offers at one point. Some of these names might surprise you!
Eli Drake actually turned down both WWE and AEW contract offers at one point. Instead, he remained loyal to Impact Wrestling.
During an interview with Stone Cold Steve Austin, Eli Drake revealed the WWE tried to acquire him for three days. However, Impact Wrestling kept increasing his salary, so he turned down all offers.
Unfortunately, Drake was released from Impact Wrestling in 2019. Shortly afterwards, he received offers from AEW.
Drake admitted that several offers were on the table, but that they could not agree on a specific one.
“We had a deal worked out. And then we didn’t. And then we did again. And then we didn’t. We just couldn’t come to terms with everything.”
Hangman Adam Page
Hangman Adam Page nearly joined the WWE just before he got accepted by AEW. While the WWE did offer him a deal, he ended up refusing it.
Page did not go into much detail about why he refused the deal. However, the did state that it was not the right time for him.
This is an interesting choice for Page though. After all, you have to consider that he would have earned more money in the WWE.
Indie wrestler Nick Aldis has built an amazing career for himself in the Natural Wrestling Alliance. This fact did not escape AEW wrestling either.
Nick Aldis has been one of the all time greats of NWA. He even decided to put on a championship match during All In against Cody Rhodes.
But while AEW wanted to sign Aldis, he had no interest in it. At the time, Aldis could not work for AEW and NWA at the same time.
Many people would be surprised to learn that the WWE has tried to get Kenny Omega for many years. The reason why is not difficult to find given his success in New Japan.
Omega revealed to Dave Meltzer that the offer he received from the WWE was quite incredible. However, he did not want to work in the company.
Kenny Omega did not mention much about it at the time, but he started revealing little bits of information after signing with AEW. At one point, he revealed he did not like the WWE’s fear culture.
So, it seems that Kenny Omega chose working environment over bucket loads of money. And we cannot say we blame him for that.
CM Punk revealed during an interview that he received an offer to join AEW shortly after the promotion was founded. Unfortunately, the company had sent an offer via text message.
Punk revealed during the interview he does not like to do business over a text message. By not contacting Punk in person, AEW missed out on this amazing wrestler.
CM Punk eventually returned to wrestling, and he became an analyst for WWE backstage.