Former WWE Stars Who Made Their AEW Debut in 2022

WWE is not the only major wrestling promotion in town. There’s a new wrestling company and its name is All Elite Wrestling. Before AEW, wrestlers who got laid off by WWE mostly ended up in smaller indie promotions or left for Japan. That’s not the case anymore because Tony Khan is throwing money on former WWE stars who are willing to join him in Jacksonville. That being said, here are five former WWE stars who made their AEW debut in 2022.

Buddy Matthews

Buddy Murphy used to tag with Wesley Blake on NXT before reinventing himself as a solo superstar. Blake and Murphy were a solid duo managed by Alexa Bliss when they were starting in WWE. The duo even held the NXT Tag Team Championship for 219 days.

Buddy Matthews

WWE released Murphy from his contract on June 2, 2021. Now going by Buddy Matthews, the former WWE Cruiserweight Champion spent the next several months working independents before finally making his AEW debut on the February 23 episode of Dynamite.

Keith Lee

Keith Lee was a star in Triple H’s NXT. Lee gave show-stealing matches against the likes of Dominik Dijakovic and Adam Cole, whom he defeated for the NXT Championship at the Great American Bash special on July 8, 2020. Unfortunately, Lee never tasted the same level of success on the main roster.

Keith Lee

Lee fulfilled his 90-day non-compete clause before debuting as a surprise opponent against Isiah Kassidy earlier this year on AEW Dynamite. Lee will team up with Swerve Strickland as they get a shot at the AEW World Tag Team Champions Jurassic Express in a three-way tag team match at Double or Nothing.

Samoa Joe

Samoa Joe was already popular before he signed up with WWE in 2015. Joe had been a veteran of the business and won top titles in all the promotions he had worked in prior to joining Triple H’s NXT. For those not in the know, Joe worked two separate stints with WWE.

Samoa Joe

Joe shocked everyone when he appeared during the closing moments of ROH’s Supercard of Honor last month. It was then announced that Joe had signed with AEW and would make his in-ring debut for the promotion on the April 6 episode of Dynamite.

Toni Storm

Toni Storm was the top female star on NXT UK before travelling across the pond to work in Triple H’s NXT. Storm made her main roster debut during an episode of WWE SmackDown in July 2021. She requested her release and was let go in November of the same year.

Toni Storm

The former NXT UK Women’s Champion made her AEW debut against The Bunny in the Owen Hart Women’s Tournament qualifier in March. Storm will square off against Dr. Britt Baker to determine the first finalist for the tournament this Wednesday night on Dynamite.

Jeff Hardy

Jeff Hardy’s WWE exit is one of the most bizarre cases of walkout in the company’s history. The Charismatic Enigma walked out in the middle of a tag team match during a house show in December 2021. He was released from his contract shortly thereafter.

Jeff Hardy

The former WWE Champion made his AEW debut in March. Jeff arrived in time to save his brother Matt Hardy, Darby Allin and Sting from a beatdown at the hands of Andrade and his henchmen. Jeff and Matt will take on the Young Bucks at Double or Nothing on May 29th.

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