Bryan Danielson decided to not re-sign with WWE, but instead, he went to AEW and made his promotional debut at the All Out PPV event.
Dave Meltzer reported in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that WWE had made Danielson a “major offer” and “pushed hard” to get him to sign a new long-term deal over the last few months.
WWE had promised him he’d be able to work with NJPW, and Vince McMahon even gave him permission to be in the G1 Climax tournament.
As noted, WWE President Nick Khan was in talks with NJPW during this time while trying to make a deal where there would be an exclusive relationship between the companies.
WWE offered the former champion limited dates, a major guaranteed salary “among the largest in the company”, and the ability to do stuff outside of WWE. On the flip side, AEW offered “similar” in terms of both money and the other perks.