On Sunday, WWE announced that it had released four longtime members of its lower- and mid-card scene — Luke Harper, Sin Cara, and Konnor and Viktor of The Ascension. These releases likely did not come as a surprise to many fans, considering how Harper and Sin Cara previously took to Twitter to confirm they had asked to be let go, and how The Ascension had not been used on television for several months. However, a new report suggests there may have been a few specific reasons why WWE decided to wish these four superstars the best in their future endeavors.
Citing an unnamed source, WrestlingNews.co’s Paul Davis wrote late on Sunday that WWE is now “more open” to releasing certain performers because doing so allows the promotion to save more money on salaries. As noted, these savings give WWE more financial wiggle room when it comes to re-signing certain mid- and upper-card talents who are considered valuable members of the company’s roster.
In addition to this reason, Davis brought up a previous rumor from Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling News Observer, who recently reported about a growing “push” to grant unhappy wrestlers’ release requests. With this in mind, he speculated that WWE executive vice president of talent Paul “Triple H” Levesque may have been instrumental in convincing company owner Vince McMahon to release Harper, Sin Cara, and The Ascension, much as he was reportedly behind the company’s decision to let go of Dustin Runnels (formerly known as Goldust) earlier this year.
➖ Luke Harper— B/R Wrestling (@BRWrestling) December 8, 2019
➖ Sin Cara
➖ The Ascension
All released from WWE today pic.twitter.com/PLSWSmECVd
Davis also pointed out that WWE appears to be more willing to part ways with superstars who likely won’t make a big impact if they joined All Elite Wrestling. Among the four wrestlers dropped on Sunday, Harper was mentioned as the likeliest to sign with AEW due to his friendship with some of the rival company’s “key people.” That may or may not guarantee a meaningful role for him if he inks a deal with the upstart promotion, though Davis opined that releasing him at this point of the year “made sense.” This, he said, is because Harper’s contract originally came up in November before it was padded by a few months to make up for his time on WWE’s injured list.
Prior to the latest batch of releases, WWE let go of another wrestler who was vocal on social media about wanting to leave the company. Last month, NXT wrestler Jordan Myles was released following a dispute with WWE over the purportedly racist design proposed for his official T-shirt, though he took to Twitter this week to announce that he is quitting pro wrestling after a brief return to the independent scene.