With the announcement of All Elite Wrestling this week and with Ring of Honor getting aggressive regarding signing new talent, Dave Meltzer recently indicated on Wrestling Observer Radio that WWE offered a developmental deal that is much larger than their standard contracts.
“I think there are going to be some interesting ones,” Meltzer said of talent signings in early 2019. “Nothing that hasn’t been rumored, and imminently. But there’s also an instance of someone who is under contract to a company, they’re going to be out of contract with the company in a couple of months. WWE, and another company, and maybe even two other companies, were involved in being interested [negotiations] in this person. And this would be a developmental deal [for WWE NXT] but I will say that the developmental money compared to others that WWE has offered was way, way higher. Multiples. Because the business has changed so much, and because of everything that’s going on,” Meltzer said in an apparent reference to the buzz going around the pro wrestling world these days.
It’s no secret that the new AEW promotion will be announcing talent acquisitions as they prepare for their first big event, rumored to be held this spring. Meltzer had recently reported that three members of The Elite (Cody Rhodes, The Young Bucks, Hangman Page) had themselves turned down major money deals from WWE, reported to be multi-year deals that were worth more than seven figures annually.
ROH’s offer to Bandido was said to be much higher than the deal he had on the table from WWE. WWE came back with a second offer that was “dramatically higher” when they realized he had better offers on the table, and that he wasn’t going to sign for low money just because it was WWE. Bandido will be making his ROH debut on January 12 in Atlanta at Center Stage for an international TV taping.
It should be noted that the wrestler set to receive the large deal was not identified in the report.