Thunder Rosa's July NWA release & buyout made AEW signing possible

Details have emerged on how Thunder Rosa’s AEW signing came to be.

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Reported in both the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and Fightful, Rosa had quietly requested a release from her NWA contract. While initially rejected, she got her wish on July 1st despite her deal running out at the end of the year.

Fightful specifically reported that a buyout was involved but didn’t have the specifics, adding that the 35-year-old Rosa (Melissa Cervantes) had requested her release as far back as 2020.

Shortly after her release, she signed with AEW on what Dave Meltzer said was “a great offer” and that “it’s likely they are looking at pushing her big now that they’ve got her full-time. It’s also a sign with all the other acquisitions that they are spending heavily on talent right now.”

On Thursday, AEW announced her signing in their now-traditional way.

Then the NWA Women’s Champion, Rosa debuted in AEW in September 2020 with a win over Serena Deeb and unsuccessfully challenged AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida at All Out. She became an AEW regular throughout the pandemic with occasional NWA and indie matches sprinkled in. She also made a surprise appearance at last Saturday’s Slammiversary, losing to Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo.

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