AEW shocked the wrestling world on Wednesday night with Roderick Strong’s surprise debut on “Dynamite” in Sunrise, Florida. He had requested his WWE release last May, hadn’t been seen on WWE programming since August, and as of mid-March, was reportedly still under contract. So for him to show up on “Dynamite” to run in and save Adam Cole from the Jericho Appreciation Society was something almost no one saw coming. Very quickly, Fightful Select reported some details to try to help give context to what was a very left-field debut.
The most recent information that Fightful had was that the AEW talents they spoke to were “pleasantly surprised” that Strong had signed. On the WWE side, the newest information was that 2K Games had been told not to include Strong in the “WWE 2K23” video game, that other WWE talent had never been updated on his status, and he had not been at the WWE Performance Center “in quite some time” even though he was fully cleared to wrestle. The report also noted that Strong’s WWE run started its downward slide when Paul “Triple H” Levesque lost power in “NXT,” as he was behind Strong’s push as the center of a revitalized cruiserweight division.
Strong has been wrestling since 2000, breaking into the business when he was 16 years old after years of training under Jim Neidhart. After initially getting on the map for his work in the IPW promotion in Florida, he made a name for himself in Ring of Honor, where he was a mainstay for over a decade before signing with WWE in 2016.
Source: Wrestling Inc.