The Authors of Pain were among several WWE acts that were released from the company in 2020 during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the summer, there was talk that the AOP had been secretly signed to WWE for months.
During the December 22nd 2023 edition of WWE Smackdown, a Karrion Kross vignette aired. At the end of the segment, there was a brief glimpse of what appeared to be AOP and their manager Paul Ellering. Fightful.com recently confirmed that there were plans for AOP to return to WWE television soon as part of the Smackdown brand.
I see Authors of Pain with Paul Ellering pic.twitter.com/VYNnSuhaee
— Robert Lentini (@rlentini41) December 23, 2023