Satnam Singh On Signing With AEW Over WWE

Satnam Singh says he decided to sign with AEW over WWE so that he could be their first Indian wrestler.

AEW signed the former basketball player in September 2021 after he participated in a WWE Performance Center tryout back in 2017. Singh finally made his debut earlier this month, attacking ROH World Television Champion Samoa Joe and aligning himself with Sonjay Dutt and Jay Lethal. Singh's debut was done to help AEW's growth in India. The debut reportedly received mixed reactions within AEW, and AEW President Tony Khan later admitted the debut could've been booked better. Khan also got into it with fans over the feedback.


Singh recently spoke with Ruby Arora about signing with AEW, for an interview that was apparently done before his AEW TV debut. The 7-foot-3 former basketball player commented on what led to his decision.

"I had given trials for WWE as well and I liked it very much as well," he said. "And I liked AEW as well. AEW is, like, brand new. It's only been a couple of years, right? And it's really fire. I thought that if I go to AEW, I would be the first again. First wrestler from India. I will make another history for India in AEW."

Singh continued and pointed to how WWE already had India wrestlers, which factored into his decision to join AEW.

"If I go into WWE, that would be amazing but amazing, why? Because they already have Indian people over there, they have Indian wrestler," he said. "Why don't I go start there where there are no Indian guys and create history again after reaching there? Not for me, for the Indian wrestlers. For everyone."


Singh was featured in a one-hour Netflix documentary titled "One In a Billion" in January 2017, which covered Singh's life and journey to the NBA. Singh also had his WWE Performance Center tryout that same year. Regarding the WWE tryout, Singh spoke to Sportskeeda last year and commented on the process.

"I wasn't ready then," Singh said of the 2017 WWE tryout during a 2021 interview. "I thought basketball is the best thing for me. I decided to wait for a while then. In the beginning my focus was completely on basketball. When I wanted to move out of basketball, I thought wrestling was the best opportunity for me. Because wrestling is very popular in India. That's when I decided to leave. That's why I signed up with AEW... yes, I was interested in wrestling from the beginning. When I started playing basketball, I thought to myself that if I get an opportunity to enter the wrestling world, I'll do it."

You can see a few photos and video from Singh's 2017 WWE tryout below, along with footage from his interview with Arora:


(H/T to F4Wonline for the quotes)