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Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Report: Update On Ricky Starks’ AEW Absence

A new report provides an update on Ricky Starks‘ absence from AEW.

Former AEW World Tag Team Champion Ricky Starks has been absent from AEW in recent months. He last wrestled for the company on the March 30 episode of AEW Collision. Starks recently returned to the ring at the Big Time Wrestling event on May 31. This led some fans to question why he has remained sidelined from AEW.

Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful (via Fightful Select) reports that a Reddit post led to speculation that Ricky Starks got into legal trouble in 2023 and had been rejecting pitches in AEW. The post has been deleted, but Sapp inquired about the allegations.

Per Sapp, AEW sources claim that Ricky Starks turning down pitches to appear on-screen was somewhat accurate. One source with direct knowledge said that breaking up with Big Bill and feuding with him was the only pitch that Starks had rejected in recent months.

The report cites sources who claimed that Starks did not want to do business. However, those involved had hoped that the pitched storyline would elevate both Ricky and Big Bill. Per Sapp, these sources said that Starks did not believe Bill would benefit from losing a feud to him. He was said to have wanted them to have an amicable split, if anything.

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Sapp also writes that there was concern of a fan reaction when Ricky Starks was not booked for AEW All In 2023, so the company went with a storyline suspension angle. The report states that Starks was not in favor of being in a tag team at that point, and he was not in favor of the way his creative followed his strap match with Bryan Danielson.

Furthermore, sources echoed Starks’ public comments about how the end of summer of 2023 was a turning point for him, as CM Punk leaving the company impacted his momentum.

Additionally, Sapp writes that there has been conflicting information as to whether Ricky Starks had been in contact with Tony Khan recently. Per Sapp, they have not heard of there being any imminent creative plans, which could change.

As for the alleged legal trouble, AEW sources denied hearing about it, and Ricky Starks claimed that he was never in legal trouble in Canada, per Sapp. The report notes that nothing was filed, and if something did occur, everyone allegedly involved denied it.

Lastly, Sapp highlighted the rumor that Ricky Starks wants to go to WWE. He writes that some in AEW believed it. There is currently no firm information regarding Starks’ AEW contract.

Sapp writes that Fightful reached out to both Starks and AEW for this story, which had plenty of conflicting information.

As of this writing, there is no word on when Starks will return to AEW programming. WrestleZone will provide more information as it becomes available.

RELATED: Tony Khan: Ricky Starks Is Tremendous, I’d Love To Get Him Involved And Back In AEW