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AEW original Leva Bates announces departure

credit Thomas Tischio, courtesy AEW

While she never had a huge television presence, Leva Bates has been a constant presence in AEW since the company started back in 2019.

The former independent and WWE NXT performer’s Librarians gimmick with Peter Avalon may not have won over the masses, but it became a successful running bit on YouTube shows like Being The Elite and the Darks. Bates also wore a number of hats behind-the-scenes for Tony Khan’s company, including working on public relations, outreach efforts like the “Heels” fan club for women, and in the make-up & wardrobe departments.

But yesterday (May 1), Leva announced the end of her contract with AEW with what certainly reads as a farewell.

As of today, my contract with AEW has expired. The last four years have been quite a ride; I’ve learned so much and grown exponentially. I’ve seen wrestling history take place as someone who was on the team since before the first show. I appreciate & love all the crew, staff, and talent; I will cherish all our memories together.

I’ve given my time, my focus, and my effort to the company, but now I’ve got to focus on myself, my future, and my career,” she added. “ I hope you all, my friends, fans, and loved ones, stay with me through this next chapter of my journey. I hope to make you all proud no matter where I go.

After the announcement, Bates was praised by a pair of high-profile former co-workers. Brandi Rhodes quote-tweeted her, saying:

From day 1, a fantastic CBO Coordinator. The definition of a self starter. Learned as you went with no prior experience. You can’t teach someone drive, passion and determination. Leva, you have it all and you deserve respect and recognition for all that you’ve accomplished.

Amanda Huber added:

My heart is absolutely broken for my friend.

I can’t wait to see where her drive, passion, empathy, and warmth takes her.

As both a cosplaying indie wrestler and NXT’s “Blue Pants”, Bates has always had a knack for connecting with audiences. We expect she’ll do the same at her next stop, wherever that may be.

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