Adam Copeland made his debut for All Elite Wrestling at Sunday’s WrestleDream 2023 pay-per-view event, and Fightful Select has shared some backstage notes on Copeland leaving WWE for AEW.
AEW sources were reportedly “unanimously positive” towards the news of Copeland’s arrival in AEW.
Along with his full-time onscreen role, Copeland will enjoy a “significant presence” in the company and the WWE Hall of Famer has already expressed his desire to help out.
One longtime talent noted that Copeland was “filling the gap” left behind by CM Punk and that the ‘Rated R Superstar’ would be more helpful without causing any backstage issues.
Some in AEW were surprised that the ‘Rated R Superstar’ trademark had lapsed and WWE didn’t try to retain it.
However, WWE understood at the beginning of the summer that Copeland wouldn’t re-sign, hence the company didn’t bother to renew the trademark.
AEW talents were not “officially” informed about Copeland’s signing, but at the same time, it turned out to be the worst-kept secret in the business.
Talent in both companies believed Copeland would arrive in AEW as early as mid-August.
Those who worked with Copeland spoke about it as though it were a fact before his last WWE match against Sheamus. Even then, many were not told officially until after that.
Copeland’s AEW debut was a topic of conversation in both wrestling companies.
Copeland was kept hidden at times but he eventually hung out with Darby Allin and got food before his debut. The former WWE Champion had been in Seattle, WA all weekend.
Copeland is believed to have left WWE on amicable terms and would be welcomed back anytime. The general consensus among WWE is that Copeland’s former employers are happy for him.