Why Adam Copeland Picked WWE Over AEW For Shock Return

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Adam Copeland has explained why he made his wrestling comeback in WWE rather than AEW.

In 2011, Adam Copeland’s wrestling career was brought to a premature end when he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, a condition that could lead to paralysis or even death if he continued to compete.

However, almost a decade later, Copeland overcame the odds to make his triumphant return to the ring at the 2020 Royal Rumble. The Rated-R Superstar resumed his career where he left off and was a mainstay of WWE for the following three years.

However, in 2023, soon after his 25th anniversary in the company, Adam Copeland sensationally left WWE and signed with AEW. As it turns out, he almost became All Elite a lot sooner than he did.

Adam Copeland Was Close To Signing With AEW In 2019

Speaking in a new interview with Chris Van Vliet, Copeland revealed he was in discussion with AEW before he was even cleared to come out of retirement.

“Really close, we had great discussions. [Was this late 2019?] Yeah. So when I first started talking to AEW, I wasn’t yet cleared. I had made it, we talked about it like the bosses of each video game level. But I still wasn’t cleared by company doctors, right? So once all of those clearances started to come, I was like, Oh, this is real now. Okay.

So before I did anything, I had to go kind of get the final clearance needed for either company. But I had negotiated with everybody. I was like, Okay, here’s where I’m at, here’s what I’ve been told I can do and started the process.”

It was a conversation with Vince McMahon that led to the WWE Hall of Famer to decide to come back in the promotion where he made his name.

“And then in going to WWE, and sitting down with Vince, he goes well, it’s got to happen here. At that stage, I looked at the equity built and it felt like having to start over, especially having to start over after having been gone for nine years felt really daunting, if that makes sense.

It felt like at least with WWE that’s one thing off the table that I don’t have to worry about. I can come back and walk into the history of this character. I do feel like it needed to have happened there initially. I really do, if only for that Royal Rumble moment right before the pandemic hit and just feeling and experiencing that. I’m happy the way it turned out.”

Elsewhere in the same interview, Adam Copeland revealed he tried to bring back an Attitude Era star but was ultimately blocked from doing so.

H/T to Inside The Ropes for the above transcription