Atlas made his return to the ring on Monday's edition of AEW Dark (January 3), defeating Serpentico.
AEW owner Tony Khan later confirmed Atlas had signed with the company, tweeting: "Congratulations on winning your tryout match last night, Jake Atlas!
"What a great @AEW debut, and now @kennymarquez, I'll see you tomorrow night in Newark at the debut of #AEWDynamite on @TBSNetwork! Safe travels, and... welcome to the team!"
Atlas responded to Khan's tweet by writing: "If only everyone knew every detail leading up to this. This means everything to me. Cliché but I REALLY have a lot to prove now.
"This year, whether you love me or hate me, you're going to know me. It is what it is. Superstar is back. Thank you @TonyKhan."
If only everyone knew every detail leading up to this. This means everything to me. Cliché but I REALLY have a lot to prove now. This year, whether you love me or hate me, you’re going to know me. It is what it is. Superstar is back. ✨
Thank you @TonyKhan #AEW https://t.co/hVQ7akrGDt
— 𝗝𝗔𝗞𝗘 𝗔𝗧𝗟𝗔𝗦 (@kennymarquez) January 4, 2022
Atlas, who signed with WWE in 2019, was released by the company in August 2021 during a round of talent cuts from the NXT roster.
Before signing with WWE he had appeared in an episode of Celebrity Undercover Boss alongside Stephanie McMahon where he told her he wanted to become the first openly-gay WWE Champion.
In September, Atlas announced he was retiring from wrestling, citing mental health issues.
In a statement on Twitter he wrote: "Thank you to anyone who did support me for 5 years. I didn't do much, but what I did was fun. I'm stepping away from wrestling completely right now so please don't ask me to do interviews/appearances. I'd like my privacy to be respected. At 26 years old, I've got my entire life ahead of me and I'm choosing to explore completely different industries to find my passion again.
"Unfortunately, it was unhealthy for me the entire time. I just learned how to hide it really well. I hope that friends and fans I've made alike continue to support me no matter what."
Catch AEW Dynamite live every Thursday at 1am in the UK and Rampage every Saturday at 3am on FITE with an AEW Plus subscription. US customers can also watch both shows on TNT, and in the UK, Dynamite repeats air on ITV4.
If you've been affected by the issues raised in this story, organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov.
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