Update On How Roderick Strong’s Surprise AEW Debut Happened

roderick strong aew adam cole

There is some new information about the AEW debut of Roderick Strong that left some people in WWE surprised.

Former WWE superstar Roderick Strong showed up on AEW Dynamite this Wednesday right when his good friend Adam Cole needed him. Cole, Orange Cassidy and Bandido were getting beaten up by the Jericho Appreciation Society’s Jake Hager, Daniel Garcia, Matt Menard & Angelo Parker.

When Roderick Strong showed up, he cleaned house with Cole and the two former members of NXT’s Undisputed Era hugged.

There were apparently people within WWE that were shocked by Strong’s AEW debut because he had been with WWE since 2016. While Strong did ask for his WWE release, it was never granted. Strong’s last NXT appearance was in October 2022.

As for how the debut happened, PWInsider Elite’s Mike Johnson has provided some insight into how it all came about. It was revealed by Johnson that Strong’s WWE deal actually expired last November. There were rumors of a contract extension in the past, but apparently, that didn’t happen.

It was noted that since WWE doesn’t announce departures, the contract ending flew under the radar. Rather than join AEW right away, Strong chose to take time off and let his body recover before joining AEW.

The report noted that Strong and AEW were quietly in discussions for some time and they came to terms on a deal. The company timed Strong’s debut after Adam Cole returned to action last month and also because they were in the state of Florida where Strong lives, so Strong wasn’t spotted traveling to the show because he likely drove there rather than landing on an airplane.

Lastly, PWInsider reports that Strong was kept hidden from others in AEW until it was time for his appearance on the show. Strong’s wife Marina Shafir also works for AEW.

What was interesting about Strong’s debut also is that at the time of Strong’s AEW Dynamite debut, he was apparently still listed on as an active superstar in the company.

AEW has already announced Roderick Strong’s debut match because next week on Dynamite he will team with Adam Cole, Orange Cassidy and Bandido against the Jericho Appreciation Society’s Daniel Garcia, Matt Menard, Angelo Parker and Jake Hager.