After disappearing off WWE TV since mid-June, Austin Theory returned to a WWE property but it wasn’t Raw.

During a Bronson Reed backstage promo on NXT Wednesday, Theory interrupted and insulted him for not winning the North American title at TakeOver XXX and that while he made it to Raw at just 22 years old, perhaps Reed could be a champion when he’s 55. Reed slapped him and walked away as Theory grinned.

According to Dave Meltzer, there was an allegation against Theory (Austin White) that kept him off TV — an “unannounced suspension of sorts”. He was last seen teaming with Murphy in a win over Cedric Alexander and Ricochet on a mid-June edition of WWE Main Event and was one of Seth Rollins’ disciples.

In an August interview with Andreas Hale, Rollins said Theory “had some personal issues that came up, so he took some time off to sort through them for the past month or two. It’s hard right now but we hope everything’s good for him so we hope to have him back sooner than later.”

The former EVOLVE Champion was signed by WWE in August 2019 and announced as part of a round of then-recent signees. He made his NXT TV debut in December 2019 in a loss to then-North American Champion Roderick Strong and became a TV regular in February.

He was called up to the main roster in late-March, notably making his WrestleMania debut in just his second match on the Raw brand, teaming with Angel Garza in a loss to tag champions The Street Profits before later joining Rollins’ stable.

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