In 2019, getting out of a WWE contract has become as difficult to engineer as Andy Dufresne’s escape from Shawshank State Penitentiary in 1994 classic The Shawshank Redemption.
WWE is rightly concerned about stars departing for pastures new, thanks to the success enjoyed by the likes of Cody Rhodes, Juice Robinson and Drew McIntyre (who admittedly returned) over the years and the impending threat of AEW to their monopolistic supremacy.
In recent months there has been a raft of disgruntled WWE employees desperately trying to get out of the promotion, some of whom have achieved their wish (Goldust, Tye Dillinger, Hideo Itami, Dean Ambrose) while others have been told in no uncertain terms that they are staying put (Luke Harper, The Revival, Sasha Banks).
Those who want to leave that have not been granted contract releases and are instead forced to sit out the remainder of their deals are now victims of another WWE stall tactic: injury time.
As confirmed previously by Dave Meltzer, WWE is adding on extra time to the contracts of those who want to depart to cover time they spent on the shelf with injuries. Essentially, WWE has the ability to freeze superstar contracts after the fact to cover the period of the injury. Luke Harper has been a recent victim of this.
According to Cassidy Haynes of Bodyslam.net, WWE is employing that same tactic to keep Dash Wilder of The Revival with the promotion beyond his April 2020 contract expiration date. Wilder will have two months added to his deal, tying him to WWE until June next year. Scott Dawson is still able to leave in April, unless he goes on the shelf and WWE adds more time to his deal too.
The punishment of The Revival for turning down $500,000 per annum apiece deals began on Raw this past Monday night with the duo involved in a humiliating backstage shower skit before losing to comedy tag champions Zack Ryder and Curtis Hawkins. It could be a long year for the former Raw Tag Team Champions if WWE continues down this route with them.