Report: WWE Secretly Re-Hires THESE Former Champions

Former title-holders back on WWE's books without anybody realising?!

Aop Confused

Authors of Pain may have been secretly re-signed by WWE months ago, potentially as far back as 2022.

Fightful Select reports as much. The outlet, which reported WWE's interest in Akam and Rezar in February, claims there's a possibility that AOP has been back under contract with the market-leading wrestling promotion since last year.


This is unconfirmed at the moment, though Fightful has received word that "It was before Vince McMahon came back, because that put a halt on all signings besides new recruits." The 77-year-old returned to WWE's Board of Directors as Executive Chairman in January, having resigned in disgrace as Chairman and CEO amongst myriad sexual misconduct allegations in July 2022.

Fightful notes that AOP was on an internal WWE travel list in May. Akam and Rezar's longstanding manager, Paul Ellering, is understood to have been important to any negotiations between AOP and WWE.


Elsewhere, PWInsider notes that there as been talk of AOP and Ellering returning over the past few weeks, potentially for the NXT brands. Next month has been highlighted for a potential comeback.

Authors of Pain haven't wrestled anywhere since being released by WWE in September 2020. The duo rebranded themselves Legion of Pain in May 2022, doing so ahead of their Wrestling Entertainment Series' promotion's intended launch, though the first WES show was cancelled with no word on rescheduling.

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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.