The news that 'The Big Show' Paul Wight had left WWE and signed for All Elite Wrestling caught the internet wrestling community off-guard when it broke on Wednesday.
The 49-year-old ended a 22-year association with Vince McMahon's promotion to join AEW, having made his debut for WWE back in 1999.
Speculation regarding Wight's future had begun after the former WWE, World Heavyweight and ECW Champion saw his profile moved to the WWE.com Alumni page, which happened on 19 February 2021.
PWInsider is reporting that Wight and WWE were negotiating over a new contract last month but were unable to come to a financial agreement.
The report goes on to suggest that the negotiations occurred days after Wight's involvement in a backstage segment with Randy Orton, an interaction which saw The Viper verbally assault The Big Show and mock him for being 'retired'. It is said that Wight was very open about his displeasure at the segment and his situation in WWE.
WWE have not acknowledged or publicly confirmed Wight's departure from the company, and Fightful also report that not many people within the promotion knew that Big Show was leaving. Those who were in-the-know were keeping the news quiet, while the shock announcement of his move to AEW was met with excitement by the AEW roster.