5 WWE Superstars that have contracts expiring in the next 12 months
WWE has so far seen several high-profile superstars depart the promotion in 2021.
The reasons for the departures are varied. Certain WWE Superstars were released by the company due to budget cuts, others requested the release from their contract, and some opted not to re-sign with the company, allowing their contract to expire.
Nevertheless, with the mass exodus of talent departing the company, there has been increased scrutiny on the remaining superstars and the expiration dates of their WWE deals.
— SARAYA (@RealPaigeWWE) September 15, 2021
Due to the rise of All Elite Wrestling, there is now competition for the juggernaut. This means there are greater opportunities for talent in professional wrestling, opportunities that may not have been there when they initially signed with WWE.
Despite several superstars jumping ship this year, there are still some who have contracts that are set to expire later this year or in the early stages of 2022.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at five WWE Superstars that have contracts expiring in the next 12 months.
#5 Former WWE NXT Champion Johnny Gargano
Johnny Gargano has often been cited as the heart and soul of WWE NXT.
Since signing with the company in 2016, Johnny Gargano has won everything there is to win on WWE’s developmental brand. He is a former NXT Champion, NXT North American Champion and NXT Tag Team Champion.
The leader of The Way was the first-ever Triple Crown Champion in the brand’s history and has had numerous match-of-the-year candidates against the likes of Tommaso Ciampa, Adam Cole, Andrade Cien Almas and The Revival.
With such an elaborate history within the company, it’s likely he will continue with WWE. However, it’s important to note that recent reports have suggested that Johnny Gargano’s deal is set to expire in December 2021.
Whilst it’s almost unfathomable that the NXT brand could carry on without him, stranger things have happened.
#4 Former WWE Divas Champion Paige
Former WWE NXT Women’s Champion Paige’s story might still have some chapters left before she hangs her boots.
The British star is seen by many as a pioneer of the “women’s evolution” in WWE. Her matches in the early years of NXT against the likes of Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks and Emma are still spoken about to this day.
The night after WrestleMania XXX in 2014, Paige made history by debuting on the main roster and winning the WWE Divas Championship from AJ Lee.
This was a landmark moment as she became the only superstar in WWE history to hold the NXT Women’s Championship and the Divas Championship simultaneously, all at the age of just 21.
Unfortunately, the British star suffered a serious neck injury in December 2017 and was forced to retire from in-ring competition. She made the announcement official in April 2018. Since then, she has held numerous on-screen non-wrestling roles in WWE.
Paige recently stated that she is working towards an in-ring return at some point in the future. The former Divas Champion also revealed that her contract expires in June 2022.
#3 Former WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens
Since signing with WWE in 2014, Kevin Owens has become incredibly successful and highly popular among fans.
KO is a former NXT Champion, Intercontinental Champion, Universal Champion and United States Champion. Owens has also participated in fantastic storylines with the likes of Chris Jericho, Sami Zayn, and Roman Reigns during his career.
A staple of his WWE tenure has been his versatility in portraying any role that WWE needs him to. Owens has been a serious heel, a comedic heel, an underdog babyface, a tag team wrestler, talk show host, and much more. He is an asset to the company and the higher-ups will try their best to retain him.
However, it was recently reported that Kevin Owens’ WWE contract is set to expire in January 2022. Reportedly, the expectation is that Owens will depart the promotion once his contract expires next year.
Of course, a lot can, and will, change between now and then. But could Kevin Owens’ WWE days be coming to an end soon?
#2 Former WWE Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn
WWE Friday Night SmackDown superstar Sami Zayn has been one of the most entertaining characters on the blue brand over the past twelve months.
He captured the Intercontinental Championship prior to the pandemic at Elimination Chamber in 2020. After a brief hiatus, Zayn returned to SmackDown later that year, proclaiming himself to still be the “true” Intercontinental Champion.
Zayn later made this official by defeating AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy in a Ladder Match at Clash of Champions before eventually dropping the belt to Big E on the Christmas Day edition of SmackDown.
Since then, Sami Zayn has been wildly entertaining, suggesting there is a conspiracy against him in WWE. This even led to a WrestleMania match against long-time friend/enemy Kevin Owens.
Recently it was reported that Sami Zayn’s WWE contract expires in late-2021. This has been somewhat disputed, with others suggesting that his contract expires in March/April 2022.
Either way, Zayn’s contract is coming to an end in the next twelve months. Whilst there hasn’t been any indication as to whether he will re-sign with the company, it is certainly something everyone will be paying close attention to.
#1 Former WWE Universal Champion Goldberg
WWE Hall of Famer Goldberg is certainly a lightning rod of opined controversies amongst the WWE Universe.
Despite being 54 years of age, Goldberg is still a member of the active WWE roster. His most recent match came against Bobby Lashley at SummerSlam in August for the WWE Championship.
Despite losing the match via referee stoppage, Lashley’s post-match attack on his 15-year-old son Gage meant that the feud was far from over.
In fact, Goldberg has said much the same, leading some to speculate that we could see him go against Lashley again at Crown Jewel in October.
Goldberg recently revealed that he is contracted to WWE for two matches per year until 2022. Meaning that his contract expires next year. Who will be “Next” in possibly the final 12 months of his career? Only time will tell.