Aussie Open Explains Process Of Landing New AEW Deal, Stalled Talks With WWE & NJPW

Former ROH World Tag Team Champions Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis, better known as Aussie Open, walked a long, hard road the past few years, working for New Japan Pro-Wrestling and other promotions but came out of the COVID-19 pandemic without a contract. The tag team had been told to be patient by New Japan management, but had grown frustrated with their free agent status. Fletcher says he believes that Aussie Open are one of the best tag teams in the world and deserved a contract, but also understood that the pandemic had hurt NJPW business significantly.

"Even the company that owns New Japan, Bushiroad, I think they really struggled through the pandemic," Fletcher said on "Talk Is Jericho" recently, "and I think they lost money probably for the past two or three years...again, I don't begrudge them for that. That is a thing that everyone experiences in the our situation, we just didn't want to sit around and wait any longer."

Davis said the tag team turned down an offer from "WWE NXT UK" to work with NJPW, which came to a breaking point on the Dontaku tour in May. At the time, the duo was both IWGP Heavyweight Tag Champions and NJPW STRONG Openweight Tag Champions and were doing a pre-match angle to try and steal their title belts back from House of Torture, when Davis' knee gave out.

After the injury, the tandem and New Japan went back and forth on the possibility of a contract, with even a joint contract between NJPW and AEW, until eventually they were approached by Tony Khan.

"He just sorted it, man. He just got my knee fixed," Davis said, with Fletcher noting that they weren't under contract at the time. "He got me surgery within two weeks," Davis said in awe. "Who do you feel more wanted by?" Davis asked. The former ROH World Tag Champions felt it was an easy decision to sign with AEW after that.

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "Talk Is Jericho" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.