Per WrestleTalk, Rhyno’s WWE contract expired this week, and he is now being advertised for an upcoming Impact Wrestling tour in partnership with Championship Wrestling from Hollywood.
Of course, this news won’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who’s been watching Impact Wrestling recently. At the Slammiversary pay-per-view, which took place earlier this month, the former SmackDown Tag Team Champion appeared in a mask and attacked Michael Elgin.
It’s not common to see WWE superstars showing up to events held by promotions that are considered competition to Vince McMahon’s empire while still under contract. And, according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Rhyno wore a mask to avoid any repercussions.
Despite not making any appearances on WWE television in recent months, the company allegedly wanted to keep “The Man Beast.” When he spoke to Chris Van Vliet earlier this year, Rhyno revealed that WWE offered to double his salary in order to keep him around.
However, the former ECW alumnus opted to part ways with the company instead so he could help younger talent and wrestle elsewhere. While he insists he had a fun time working with WWE, he also said he knew he wasn’t going to be featured heavily in their plans going forward.
“It’s not that they don’t like me, there is a lot of talent there and they have to cycle the talent which is normal because you want to get men and women out there to work. I was afraid that I would become miserable and that’s the last thing that you want to do when you’re doing something that you love. I would rather take a step back and work for some of these companies and work the independent scene.”
— Wrestling Observer (@WONF4W) July 8, 2019
At 43-years-old, Rhyno is in the twilight stages of his career. During his combined WWE tenures, he was never thrust into the main event picture or given any significant title reigns. Therefore, it’s understandable that he wants to make the most of his wrestling experience while he still has some gas left in the tank.
Additionally, this leaves the door open for him to pursue a career in politics as well. As noted by The Washington Post, Rhyno previously ran for office in his home state of Michigan as a Republican candidate.
While his bid was unsuccessful, he might be keen to explore this career avenue again in future, without the distraction of a full-time WWE schedule to contend with.