WWE Facing Huge Struggle To Sign Big Name Free Agent
Beginning in 2020 during the depths of the pandemic, WWE began cutting numbers to its roster in a way not seen previously.
While cuts are nothing new, the extent to which WWE trimmed its roster down with new releases seemingly happening every month or two was unprecedented. Those cuts continued in 2021 and into 2022 when NXT was the target with backstage personnel such as William Regal, Road Dogg, as well as Samoa Joe being shown the door.
Things changed in July 2022 when Vince McMahon announced his retirement and Triple H took over the creative reins of the company. Many stars returned to the WWE ring under The Game including the likes of Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman, Dakota Kai, and Chelsea Green to name a few. Road Dogg and Regal both returned while Samoa Joe didn’t and remains part of AEW and Ring of Honor.
Now WrestleVotes has reported (via GiveMeSport) that WWE is not optimistic about signing former New Japan Pro Wrestling Star Kota Ibushi. Ibushi has been a free agent since his NJPW contract ended in February 2023 but the report notes that there is a belief that the former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion does not want to sign a full-time deal with any promotion.
While that does not preclude him from working with AEW, with many stars not under contract with the promotion appearing on its shows, that is far less likely to happen with WWE.