WWE went through a time last year when they were offering insane money to anyone who had a contract coming up. AEW was around and offering opportunities and WWE didn’t want to lose anyone.
This tactic worked and a few Superstars took much larger contracts so they wouldn’t leave. Then WWE released several people on April 15th anyway due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Brian Meyers recently appeared on Sitting Ringside with David Penzer where WWE’s streak of offering huge contracts came up in the conversation. Meyers recalls that every time someone would turn down an offer then everyone’s money would go up. They even had a special name for those contracts.
“Yea, it was astronomical. Once someone said no, then it went up for everybody. It kept happening. It wound up being what it was, which was too good to be true. It was more money than I ever imagined making in this business. The big thing for them was the years. Everybody’s contract was 5 years. The boys were calling it the ‘Please don’t go to AEW contract.’ I was thinking I’m very comfortable here. I enjoy it. I’m set up for post in ring stuff. I’m more than fine with signing this.”
WWE was offering insane money because they didn’t want Superstars to go anywhere. This strategy ended as the coronavirus pandemic greatly changed everyone’s priorities.
Some Superstars who took much larger contracts during that time were released. Obviously, the idea got out in the locker room that WWE didn’t want people going to All Elite Wrestling.
Thanks to Wrestling News for the quote