KEY POINTS

  • Roderick Strong could be leaving WWE to join AEW
  • Strong's connection with Adam Cole, Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly may see him join them after his match with Walter
  • Insiders confirm that AEW performers will not be appearing at the Royal Rumble event

Ever since the departure of former NXT mainstays over the past year, the future of Roderick Strong has been heavily discussed and signs point to him being released very soon.

According to Wrestling Observer’s Bryan Alvarez, Strong may not be with the company for much longer and has even shot down rumors of him making a surprise appearance at the Royal Rumble.

“Walter will be facing Roderick Strong on Tuesday night [at NXT 2.0]. God, I hope they give this match time. I don’t know what the future is for Roderick Strong because, you know, Roderick Strong was the Cruiserweight Champion. They’re getting rid of the cruiserweight belt. Clearly, they don’t want cruiserweights,” Alvarez noted as quoted by Ringside News.

“I don’t know if we’ll know more tonight, but I expected him to be destroyed by Walter. Who knows what his future is from there, but my guess is Roderick Strong will also not be in the Royal Rumble.”

As a performer on NXT since 2016, Strong has established himself as one of the most reliable workhorses of the brand that saw him join the Adam Cole-led faction “The Undisputed Era” in late 2018.

With his stablemates eventually moving to AEW by the last quarter of 2021, Strong was left alone in NXT and became the leader of the “Diamond Mine” faction and won the NXT Cruiserweight Championship before dropping the title to Carmelo Hayes at NXT New Year’s Evil on January 4.

Fans have been theorizing all over social media as to what Strong does next in his career since it has become obvious to pro wrestling observers that the new NXT, dubbed “NXT 2.0,” does not have room for guys like him anymore.

This gives the impression that “The Messiah of the Backbreaker” will be making his way to AEW soon to join his former Undisputed Era stablemates in a super feud with Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks’ “The Elite” faction.

The fact that he is married to former mixed martial artist-turned-pro wrestler Marina Shafir--who is now with AEW after a three-year stint with NXT--the likelihood of him moving to WWE’s biggest rival grows.

In other news, Raj Giri of Wrestling Inc has confirmed via Twitter that Cody Rhodes will not be a part of the Royal Rumble after rumors of him being one of the superstars to take part in the event.

Giri’s update confirms what Pro Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer has recently reported regarding the possibility of AEW superstars entering the Royal Rumble.

Fans have been speculating as to who the other surprise entrants could be after WWE announced that the promotion has agreed to work with Impact Wrestling (formerly known as TNA) to have reigning Impact Knockouts Champion Mickie James appear in the women's Royal Rumble match.

There are rumors that Cameron and former WWE Women’s Champion Melina making their way to the Royal Rumble, alongside former Divas Champion Paige.

With a multitude of possibilities ahead for both Strong and the Royal Rumble, fans are holding their breath to see what happens next in both situations.