The battle for the signatures of the hottest free agents in 2024 will be fought, tooth and nail, between the WWE and AEW.
A number of top talents have their contracts expiring in 2024, with some already working without deals all across the wrestling world.
These free agents would be huge additions to any wrestling roster, and could cost AEW and WWE a seven-figure contract to secure their signature in the new year.
In this article, we’ll reveal the top 10 free agents in pro wrestling in 2024, looking at the stars that AEW, WWE and NJPW will be in a bidding war to sign for their company.
1. Drew McIntyre
Former WWE Champion Drew McIntyre’s WWE contract is to expire in December 2023, making him the prime candidate to sign for AEW in 2024.
He will be the biggest free agent in wrestling since Cody Rhodes in 2022. The Scot is a two-time WWE Champion, and a WrestleMania main eventer – beating Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 36.
He has reportedly grown unhappy with his spot in the WWE, and could look toward AEW when his deal expires.
Drew McIntyre would fit right in with AEW if he does sign, and Tony Khan would be an idiot not to throw money at McIntyre in January 2024.
2. Will Ospreay
With the best wrestler in the world admitting live on your TV show that his contract is up at the beginning of next year, there’s nothing else to do but sign Will Ospreay to a deal.
Will Ospreay did just that on the Dynamite before All In, preparing the world for a bidding war for the English star that could see him swap Japan for America come 2024.
The British Ace has long been considered the best worker in the world, having put on three six-star matches in 2023 alone.
Both WWE and AEW will be hoping to pry the former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion away from NJPW, starting the biggest bidding war of 2024.
UPDATE – At AEW Full Gear 2024, Will Ospreay announced that he had signed full-time for All Elite Wrestling, taking him off the free agent market in 2024. The English star will continue his role with New Japan Pro Wrestling up until Wrestle Kingdom 18, before moving to the US to wrestle for AEW.
MJF is set to start a bidding war unlike any other, when the AEW Champion’s contract expires in January 2024.
The AEW star has long warned Tony Khan to expect a bidding war in 2024, with both AEW, WWE and maybe even Hollywood courting his services after an incredible five-years in All Elite Wrestling.
While many suspect that MJF will continue to work with AEW, there is a chance he rejects Tony Khan’s deal and becomes the biggest free agent of 2024 in pro wrestling.
4. Bryan Danielson
Bryan Danielson recently announced the end of his full-time career is coming in 2024, owing a promise to his daughter for that fact.
He is taking 2023 as a year for dream matches, but in 2024 he will be looking at his future as a free agent in wrestling.
Danielson could stay with AEW into the new year, or move back to a part-time schedule with the WWE – or even a long-awaited move to Japan or Mexico for The American Dragon.
5. Deonna Purrazzo
Sean Ross Sapp announced that former Impact Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo is set to become a free agent after December 31st, with her contract ending just as 2024 stars.
She will be a big pickup for any promotion, adding great depth for the main event of any respective women’s division.
Purrazzo could also stay with Impact wrestling, signing a one-year extension just as she did one year ago.
6. Becky Lynch
With her WWE contract set to be up in June 2024, Becky Lynch could command the biggest contract ever paid out to a female wrestler (if she hasn’t already).
The Irishwoman is by far the most popular female wrestler, being the first woman to win in the main event wrestler, as well as winning multiple women’s championships in AEW.
With the birth of her daughter, and her husband being World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins, she may be inclined to extend her deal with WWE into the new year.
However, AEW will want to make a play for Becky Lynch, who could be the biggest free agent in wrestling in 2024.
7. Alexander Hammerstone
One of the top stars from MLW has his contract running out this year, which could see a bidding war between WWE and AEW for the signature of Alexander Hammerstone.
The former MLW Champion is one of the best current stars outside of the big companies, and could reunite with his former Dynasty partner MJF in AEW.
However, he seems the prototypical Triple H signing, so would be a huge get for either WWE or ECW in 2024.
8. Subculture (Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster)
With their recent run as tag team champions in the UK and with Impact Wrestling, Subculture are without a doubt one of the top free agent tag teams in wrestling.
The trio, which include former NXT UK Tag Team Champions Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews, will be on the radar of all the top companies in 2024, including AEW and NJPW.
The Welsh duo would be the first wrestlers from Wales to sign for the company, helping bring a new market to the company from across the Severn Bridge.
9. Matt Cardona
The former Zack Ryder has become the top name on the independent scene, and could be a huge signing for WWE or AEW in 2024.
Matt Cardona is making more money than ever as a WWE-style babyface on the indies, although that character makes him the most hated man on every show he is on.
His gimmick would work well in AEW, with fans loving to hate his meta-style character. Matt Cardona could become a main event wrestler in AEW, if given the chance WWE never gave him.
10. Mandy Rose
Since her release from the WWE last year, Mandy Rose has been very quiet in pro-wrestling.
The former NXT Women’s Champion would be a big signing for any women’s division, bringing such star power and championship experience to the whatever roster she signs for.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.