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It sounds like WWE will try to sign several key AEW wrestlers in early 2024

Will Ospreay recently revealed that his contract with NJPW ends in February 2024. If NJPW doesn’t reach a new deal with Ospreay before then, he will immediately become the hottest free agent on the market.

With that in mind, Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer said things could be especially hectic in the free agent market in early 2024, because many AEW contracts are set to expire at the end of 2023, and WWE will be very interested in signing the key players:

“In February of next year, both these companies are gonna be looking for something fresh...there are AEW contracts that are coming due at the end of the year. Several of them. Many of them. WWE obviously will be pursuing all of them, or all of the ones that are key ones that they could get. And perhaps getting some, and if they do, that would freshen things up. And they do have people to bring up from NXT.”

This is something of a no-brainer given how well the signing of Cody Rhodes has worked out for WWE after his AEW contract expired in early 2022. In fact, there’s an entire storyline in AEW revolving around “the bidding war of 2024” for the services of current world champion MJF, who will gladly sign with WWE if they offer him a better deal than Tony Khan.

It’s a reminder that the competition between WWE and AEW is ultimately good for the wrestlers, who have some leverage to negotiate better deals than they otherwise would if WWE was the only game in town.

It also sounds like AEW has a new weekly Saturday show that could be debuting with the return of CM Punk in June. If that’s the case, Warner Bros. Discovery will presumably be paying AEW dozens of millions of dollars for this additional content, which should put the company in a better position to retain their key wrestlers while also competing for the services of top tier free agents such as Ospreay and maybe Drew McIntyre.

Which key AEW stars do you think might make the jump to WWE early next year, Cagesiders?

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