News On Roderick Strong’s WWE Departure – AEW Debut

News On Roderick Strong’s WWE Departure - AEW Debut

News On Roderick Strong’s WWE Departure – AEW Debut – Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite saw the debut of Roderick Strong, who reunited with Adam Cole.

The segment saw Cole come to the ring to call out Chris Jericho, but he was then attacked by The Jericho Appreciation Society. Bandido and AEW International Champion Orange Cassidy tried to make the save, but the numbers game was too much until Strong arrived to clear the ring. Strong and Cole then embraced to a big pop from the crowd.

Strong’s AEW debut came after he quietly left WWE NXT in late 2022. PWInsider reports that Strong’s WWE contract actually expired in November, and since WWE doesn’t announce NXT departures, and because this was not a release but a contract ending, Strong’s departure flew under the radar, so much that Strong was still listed as a member of the WWE NXT roster. He has since been moved to the Alumni page.

Strong previously asked for his WWE release in the spring of 2022, but the request was initially rejected. However, WWE sources believed Strong’s contract was to run into next year, but that was not confirmed. It was also reported that 2K Sports was recently told to exclude Strong from the WWE 2K23 video game.

Strong, who is married to AEW’s Marina Shafir, decided months back that he was going to take time off to prepare for the next stage of his career. While Strong had not been at the WWE Performance Center as of late, those close to him noted that he was doing well physically, and cleared to compete.

Strong and AEW officials had been quietly talking for some time, and came to a deal to bring him in. Strong’s debut was timed for after Adam Cole’s return, then locally in Florida (where Strong lives) to prevent Strong from being seen while traveling.

Strong was kept hidden at the FLA Live Arena until it was time for him to debut.

There were AEW talents who were “pleasantly surprised” to see Strong debut as he is well-liked by many in the industry.

Strong has not wrestled since the August 9, 2022 edition of NXT TV, where he was defeated by Apollo Crews. There was a segment on the September 2 NXT Worlds Collide Kickoff pre-show that saw The Diamond Mine discover Strong laid out in the parking lot. He was taken to the hospital and Damon Kemp was later revealed to be the mystery attacker. In the storylines, Strong remained in the hospital until his last appearance on the October 11 episode. This show saw Ivy Nile wheel Strong out of a medical facility. Strong was in the wheelchair, with a neck brace on, and said he was almost ready “to get out of here,” and he was taking everything one day at a time as far as his recovery went. The segment ended with everyone coming together for a “Diamond Mine forever!” chant. Strong made his final appearance then.

Strong’s outgoing NXT storyline is interesting as he had already told officials that he needed time off to rest up and prepare for what’s next. The backstage attack from Kemp had Strong hospitalized for more than one month, and questioning his in-ring future, at least in the storylines.

Strong will make his AEW in-ring debut on Wednesday’s Dynamite as he teams with Cole, Bandido and Cassidy to take on The Jericho Appreciation Society’s Jake Hager, Matt Mendard, Chase Parker, and Daniel Garcia.

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News On Roderick Strong’s WWE Departure – AEW Debut

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