Former NXT talent Jake Atlas appeared at the AEW Dark taping on Tuesday in Jacksonville, Florida.
The 26-year old debuted for the company by defeating Serpentico. Afterward, AEW president Tony Khan came out to shake Atlas’ hand, according to Wrestling Observer correspondent JJ Williams.
Atlas came up through the Southern California scene and signed with WWE in October 2019 where he was assigned to NXT.
In August of this year, he was among many releases by the company and wrestled one-off matches with Game Changer Wrestling and Ring of Honor.
Shortly after wrestling at ROH, he announced his retirement and noted mental health issues that he has spoken publicly about to Denise Salcedo of Instinct Culture:
My entire run in WWE was the most, and I don’t know how to word this, it was probably the worst mentally I have ever been. My mental health was probably the worst it’s ever been, the last two years that I was with WWE. So when I turned down the contract extension, I counter offered with some terms of my own and I more than anything wanted a meeting with Triple H and our conversations were kind of at a standstill and as you know Canyon ended up getting let go himself. So then that put me in a really weird situation, I had asked Canyon for my release at some point in our conversations, it wasn’t a ‘I wanna leave,’ it was more so a conversation of ‘ I want to be here, and feel like I have so much value and I feel like I am not being heard.’ I had requested a meeting with Triple H for 6 months, and I never got it. I think that that was the thing that kinda had me worrying the most in that ‘I don’t know how they see me, or how they view me, or how they value me.’ There were a lot of things that I wanted to do and talk about and I was just given the runaround. So I said that ‘I wanted to ask for my release, I don’t want to, I want to stay but my mental health comes first and I am suffering.’
It is unknown if Atlas has signed with AEW.