WWE And AEW Stars React To Candice LeRae's Return

Candice LeRae's surprise return on "WWE Raw" has fans and wrestlers across the industry buzzing, as the former "NXT" Women's Tag Team Champion made her main roster debut in a victory over Nikki A.S.H., leading a number of wrestlers to celebrate the occasion.

"Hi, Candice LeRae. We've been waiting for you," tweeted Bayley, who shared earlier this year that she hopes to wrestle LeRae soon.

"THAT'S MY FRIEND," tweeted Nixon Newell, who wrestled as Tegan Knox alongside LeRae in "WWE NXT," while current "NXT" star Wendy Choo joked that LeRae was "a milf."

A more substantive comment came from former WWE Divas Champion Beth Phoenix, who experienced numerous LeRae matches during her time as part of the "NXT" announce team, and who credits LeRae for helping her prepare for her own return to wrestling.

"When I was training for WrestleMania with Natalya, Candice LeRae generously came to work with me to knock off the ring rust," Phoenix tweeted. "She's a stellar wrestler but as everyone will tell you, an even more stellar human being! Congratulations on your return to the big stage!"

Nor were the congratulations limited to LeRae's fellow WWE performers.

"This is so inspirational," tweeted AEW's Tay Melo, who previously wrestled for "NXT" as Taynara Conti. "Candice is one of the best in professional wrestling and I admire her so damn much!"

LeRae last wrestled on the WWE's "NXT" brand in 2021 before leaving for maternity leave after announcing her pregnancy. Her son was born in February 2022, and in May, it was reported that LeRae hadn't signed a new contract with WWE. AEW reportedly had some interest in LeRae, but clearly were either unable or unwilling to sign her to a deal. LeRae's husband, Johnny Gargano, also recently returned to WWE.