AEW: Shawn Spears Announces Departure, Bryan Danielson on Arm Not Fully Healed, More on Swerve Strickland vs. Keith Lee for Worlds End

Shawn Spears Announces Departure from AEW

Shawn Spears announced earlier today on Twitter that he is departing from AEW.

In his official statement, Spears thanked everyone in AEW for his time in the company and stated that his decision was a personal choice and is the best for his family.

“What a wonderful time it has been.

Thank you @AEW for allowing me to be there from the ground level. It’s been a fantastic 5 years of growth and personal development.

This is a personal choice and one that is best for me and my family at this time. Thank you to all, staff and talent alike for the memories #10.

Most importantly, to the incredible fans of ALL professional wrestling: I love you guys. I really do.”

Prior to his departure, Spears last wrestled in AEW this past September and had been with the company since May of 2019.

Bryan Danielson Comments on His Arm Not Being Fully Healed from Broken Arm Injury

New Japan Pro Wrestling held a recent interview with Bryan Danielson ahead of his match against Kazuchika Okada at next week’s Wrestle Kingdom 18 event. One of the topics discussed included Danielson revealing that his right arm has yet to fully heal from it being broken at this past June’s Forbidden Door II event.

“And because I wrestled for another 10 minutes with a broken arm and because I fought through, I couldn’t hold my son for two months. I still don’t have full strength in my right arm, because I did come back a little bit early, because I come back when people need me to come back…”

Danielson also gave his thoughts about his time in NJPW early in his career and getting to return back for Wrestle Kingdom 18.

“I’m really excited. So New Japan, when I started wrestling, that’s where I always wanted to be. When I envisioned myself as a professional wrestler, I didn’t envision myself being a big star in the United States. What I really wanted to do was go (and) be a big star in Japan. The idea of being able to go wrestle in Japan with the best wrestlers in the world in a wrestling style that I like most, that was really appealing to me and then — and I don’t know what happened. I was training at the Inoki Dojo and I was going regularly on tours. I went on like eight tours in 2004 for New Japan and me and Curry Man had won the IWGP Junior Championships as a tag team and then all of a sudden, I just stopped getting booked and it was really, really frustrating and for a long time, I was like, ‘What do I gotta do to get back to New Japan?’ And here we are, almost 20 years later. I’m going to Wrestle Kingdom in the Tokyo Dome.”

Transcript h/t:

More on AEW’s Plans for Swerve Strickland vs. Keith Lee at AEW Worlds End

As noted before, Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite New Year’s Smash 2023 show in Orlando, Florida featured the official announcement of Swerve Strickland vs. Keith Lee being added to the card of AEW’s Worlds End event this Saturday in Long Island, New York.

Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that AEW officials originally had plans for Strickland and Hangman Adam Page to continue their feud but made a pivot to those plans in favor of Strickland and Lee finally getting around to finishing their feud.

This pivot reportedly was made following Strickland and Page’s match at this past November’s Full Gear 2023 event due to AEW officials never had plans for a third match between the two to take place at Worlds End.