Several years before signing with All Elite Wrestling, Will Hobbs had a dark match on SmackDown against Baron Corbin and later attended a WWE tryout. Vince McMahon's company decided not to sign the Team Taz member, but Hobbs revealed on the AEW: Unrestricted podcast they reached out to him following his AEW debut.
Hobbs said: "That was with Baron Corbin. That was in San Jose, California... Did that whole thing, had a tryout. The tryout was good. That's a long story but I'll give you the short story. They said we didn't have anything for you right now. And then just years later getting the carrot dangling in front of me, then pretty much told them, 'F you.' Yeah, you know, just right when I appeared up on AEW like, 'Hey, remember me.' The way I was raised, I don't got time for that s**t. I’m not Boo Boo the Fool as my grandma used to say."
Hobbs isn't the first wrestler WWE has contacted after their AEW debut. The company previously tried to sign Eddie Kingston and Ricky Starks after their respective TNT Title matches against Cody Rhodes.