Has AEW Quietly Signed This Ex-WWE Wrestler?

The breadcrumb trail points to this former WWE wrestler becoming #AllElite.

Marina Shafir

Speculation that AEW has signed ex-WWE wrestler Marina Shafir is mounting after Tony Khan's promotion released an official piece of merchandise for the former mixed martial artist.

A t-shirt bearing Shafir's name and nickname, 'The Problem', was added to ProWrestlingTees.com and ShopAEW.com recently. The official @ShopAEW Twitter account tweeted it out on Wednesday:-

While AEW has not yet confirmed Shafir's signing, it would be extremely unusual for the promotion to release a shirt for a non-contracted wrestler. Or, at the very least, somebody that doesn't factor into AEW booking plans going forward.

The speculation is strengthened by Shafir's recent Dark record. Debuting with a loss to Kris Statlander on the YouTube series' 14 December episode, she defeated Valentina Rossi in a quick squash on 4 January and beat Reka Tehaka at AEW's 15 January tapings. 4 January was particularly notable as Shafir was given a full ring entrance with her own music, which, again, isn't something AEW would typically do for an unsigned performer.


Shafir has been involved in pro wrestling since joining WWE developmental in May 2018. Her three-year affiliation with the promotion ended with her release in June 2021. Shafir, who is married to NXT's Roderick Strong, recently commented that she was having trouble scoring wrestling bookings because she was "raised in NXT."

Senior Reporter
Senior Reporter

Andy has been with WhatCulture for six years and is currently WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A writer, presenter, and editor with 10+ years of experience in online media, he has been a sponge for all wrestling knowledge since playing an old Royal Rumble 1992 VHS to ruin in his childhood. Having previously worked for Bleacher Report, Andy specialises in short and long-form writing, video presenting, voiceover acting, and editing, all characterised by expert wrestling knowledge and commentary. Andy is as much a fan of 1985 Jim Crockett Promotions as he is present-day AEW and WWE - just don't make him choose between the two.