Each year, there is usually a time that WWE begins releasing a number of superstars in their annual “spring cleaning.” It appears as if things have started early in 2019, as on Friday the releases began coming one after another. Some of the names mentioned as having been released seemed to come out of nowhere. Before 3 p.m., three big name superstars had been released — and it is quite possible that more are on the way.
A couple of days ago, Tye Dillinger hopped on his own personal Twitter account after SmackDown Live and publicly requested his release. Dillinger, whose real name is Ronnie Arniell, stated that he wanted the clear story out there — and would prefer that rumors not circulate.
In his tweet, Dillinger said that after nearly six years, he simply wanted to move on from WWE. He felt that this was the best situation for everyone. He thanked the company and the locker room for everything, but said that he wanted to go in a different direction.
On Friday afternoon, WWE had tweeted out and made the release of Tye Dillinger official.
WWE has come to terms on the release of Ron Arneill (Tye Dillinger).https://t.co/uqIeqallQf— WWE (@WWE) February 22, 2019
There were no details revealed in the announcement heralding Dillinger’s release, but he was not wished well in his future endeavors as is customary from WWE. Similarly abrupt wording was provided for Big Cass when he was released, too.
WWE was far from done with the releases for the day, though. Less than a half-hour later, another big departure was revealed.
WWE has come to terms on the release of Kenta Kobayashi (Hideo Itami).https://t.co/HeJV9fxCrU— WWE (@WWE) February 22, 2019
Hideo Itami, whose real name is Kenta Kobayashi, was also released by the promotion without mention of well wishes in the future. Itami was a huge signing — and a big part of NXT before moving up to the main roster. He would land in the WWE cruiserweight division.
There have been rumors of his release for months now, but the final word eventually came around on Friday. While nothing is certain, it is likely that he ends up back in New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Less than 20 minutes after the announcement of Itami’s release, a third one was revealed.
WWE has come to terms on the release of Theodore Perkins (TJP).https://t.co/ah2u11ABBk— WWE (@WWE) February 22, 2019
TJP aka T.J. Perkins — whose real name is Theodore James Perkins — was the very first WWE Cruiserweight Champion back in 2016. He was a big part of that division for a while, but he has since faded out into relative obscurity on the roster.
Social media is already buzzing with the idea that TJP, Tye Dillinger, or both may head to All Elite Wrestling.
These releases are on top of the news that broke overnight, that news being the confirmation that the WWE was releasing Arn Anderson.
WWE has brought forth the 2019 spring cleaning early, and it’s not yet known if they are done. This sort of thing happens every year, but those are three big names to start out with, and more may be on the way.