Eli Drake Reveals He Nearly Had A Deal With AEW, Didn't Speak To WWE Before Signing With NWA

Eli Drake discusses his free agent process.

After getting his release from IMPACT and becoming a free agent on June 4, Eli Drake had multiple options on the table. Ultimately, Eli decided to sign with the National Wrestling Alliance, giving them another star player to build around. On the Wrestling Perspective Podcast, Eli revealed that he nearly signed with All Elite Wrestling, but the two sides couldn't quite reach an agreement.

"We had a deal worked out. And then we didn't And then we did again. And then we didn't. We just couldn't come to terms with everything," said Eli. "Then, I spoke with Joey Mercury at Ring of Honor and that happened just before talking to [Dave] Lagana and Billy [Corgan] at NWA. At that point, I was just weighing my options and seeing what was what. I had been contacted by friends of mine who are in WWE and they said, 'You should let them know you're available.' I was like, 'For the last three years, I've kinda jerked their chain. I'm gonna ease off of that for right now.' Because for three years I was like, 'I'd love to come over there.' They were like, 'Great, we'd love to have you.' And I was like, 'Ah, I'm gonna stay where I am.' I don't wanna keep being the boy who cried wolf. So I didn't even bother reaching out to them."

Drake officially debuted for the NWA during the ROH Best in the World pre-show. Shortly after Drake's debut, ROH and NWA severed their partnership, leading to NWA announcing their own weekly studio show.

On the subject of signing with NWA and how much freedom he'll have, Drake said, "It all goes to Lagana. He was writing at TNA when I got there, so I knew him from before at Championship Wrestling from Hollywood. So he already knew what I could do. They gave me a direction and I stayed in whatever the parameters were, but I did my own thing. It remained that way as IMPACT continued forward. It's the same thing with NWA. At this point it's; put a camera on me, give me a direction, and I'll take the wheel."

NWA will tape the first episodes for their studio show on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 in Atlanta. No premiere date or network for the show have been announced.

If you use any of the quotes above, please credit The Wrestling Perspective Podcast with a h/t to Fightful.

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