While WWE claims they are not worried about AEW as competition, their increased attempts to lock up talent to long-term deals says otherwise.
WWE locked up The Usos to a new long-term deal right before WrestleMania 35 and now they are doing the same with even low card talent that never appears on television.
Last week, Pro Wrestling Sheet reported that WWE signed Mike and Maria Kanellis to new deals, with the idea that they paid them large totals for five years. This came shortly after Maria said that their contracts were expiring in three weeks.
Maria had been vocal on social media about the way WWE was utilizing her and her husband and the new contracts ensure they remain WWE employees for the foreseeable future.
Of course, that won’t stop Maria Kanellis from complaining about how they are used – even if their home is only on WWE 205 Live.
Call it what you want. It’s a job not a dictatorship. I have an opinion. I will speak my opinion. I will try to change things from the inside. How do you think I got things done in every company I’ve worked for? By putting the work in and fighting for what I believe is right. https://t.co/jqEU6xHiKe
— MariaKanellisBennett (@MariaLKanellis) June 18, 2019
On Friday, WWE locked up another wrestler to a multi-year deal and this is someone who wrestles on TV even less than Mike Kanellis.
Pro Wrestling Sheet reports that WWE has locked up Mojo Rawley to a new multi-year deal. While he has rarely wrestled in recent memory, he has started a new gimmick where he stares at himself in a broken mirror and started painting his face.
These are wrestlers that have not offered WWE much in the last few years but are picking up long-term financial deals from the company anyway as AEW prepares to start its new show on TNT this fall.