Backstage News On Malakai Black And Other AEW Names Reportedly Contacted By WWE

Malakai Black was reportedly not the only AEW talent WWE sent out feelers to about a potential return to the company recently.

According to Fightful Select, the likes of Dax Harwood, Cash Wheeler and Swerve Strickland were also contacted by the Triple H-led WWE Talent Relations department. All three of those wrestlers, besides Black, were part of Triple H's version of "NXT" a few years ago. 

Fightful also confirmed The Wrestling Observer's earlier report suggesting that Black had indicated to contacts in the WWE that "he wished he was still there." Although Black is effectively done with AEW, he is not eligible "to compete for WWE for an extended period," likely due to a non-compete clause in the "conditional release" granted to him by AEW

As for other AEW talents hoping to return to WWE, several AEW higher-ups are of the "if they want to go, let them" mentality, per Fightful's sources.

Finally, besides Black, Strickland and FTR, WWE reportedly reached out to another unnamed top AEW talent in August. This name has supposedly "been with the company since the start" and Fightful's AEW sources were "surprised to learn" that WWE reached out to them. 

Earlier this month, at the post-All Out media scrum, AEW President Tony Khan lashed out at WWE for allegedly tampering with talents in his company, emphasizing that he was "not going to sit back and take this s–t anymore." Khan also addressed the tampering chargers during a mandatory talent meeting held in the lead-up to the All Out pay-per-view in Chicago. At the time, Dave Meltzer reported that the AEW talents who were contacted by WWE referred the contact to their attorney, and informed AEW management of WWE reaching out to them. Furthermore, AEW's Chief Legal Officer Megha Parekh had reportedly sent an email to WWE co-CEOs Stephanie McMahon and Nick Khan to warn them about the consequences of contract tampering.