WWE has landed at least one of their three big free-agent names, as Kevin Owens has re-signed with the company.
Fightful learned several weeks ago that WWE was very interested in retaining Kevin Owens, and made him what sources in the company was "an excellent offer" to stay. WWE sources that we spoke to said they were over the moon about retaining Owens, that they made it clear to him personally that they were eager to retain his services.
Talent within AEW we spoke to didn't think AEW would realistically match what WWE would offer him to stay with the company. Unanimously, AEW talent we spoke to believe there would have been interest, though company officials obviously can't comment on such without tampering issues.
Owens' deal was originally up much later, but in 2019, he restructured it to expire at the end of January 2022. WWE started the negotiation process with Owens in the fall of 2021, which is a far cry from how they used to do things. Wrestling Observer reported that Owens signed a three-year extension to his deal, which Fightful can confirm. This deal will take him to January 31, 2025. Owens confirmed the month and day with Pat Laprade in an interview with TVA Sports.
Observer also spoke of a massive raise that WWE sources alluded do, but didn't confirm an amount. Fightful has heard from numerous WWE talent and staff about the re-signing, which was received unanimously positive that we spoke to. Based on the conversations Fightful had, Owens is well respected and liked within the locker room, with one wrestler referring to him as a "good moral compass," who cares about the safety and well-being of others. Another source said that Owens is deserving of a huge deal for "any number of reasons."
WWE sources also told Fightful that they were pretty sure as of three weeks ago that Owens was going to re-sign.
Fightful also spoke to several involved with AEW, including a couple that had been open about wanting Owens to make the jump. Most everyone was happy for him and believed that AEW would be on the table whenever his deal was up, and it was said that he maintains good relationships with many people there. One AEW source stated that "anyone who knows Kevin knows his priorities are with his family first, so you have to be happy for him."
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