A couple of weeks ago, former Wyatt Family member and Bludgeon Brother Harper went public about asking WWE for his contract release. Harper put out a statement that was very complimentary towards WWE in which he explained his reasons for wanting to explore pastures new.
However, WWE has not granted Harper his contract release and according to the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter it appears that he is not going to get it any time soon. Writing in the newsletter, Dave Meltzer noted:
“Right now the WWE side of things regarding Luke Harper is that he is not going to be released and they’ve added six months to his contract because they’ve said that his contract term that was to end in November, has been added to because it was frozen due to his time off for wrist surgery. So their viewpoint is that he can’t leave until just before next year’s WrestleMania.”
Meltzer adds that doing this is WWE’s way of dissuading disgruntled performers from going public – as the promotion is very concerned about being perceived as the bad guys in the upcoming wrestling war and don’t want fans of the opposition to rally for them in protest against WWE.
Meltzer uses the example of Dustin Rhodes as someone who kept quiet about wanting to leave, denied reports that he was leaving and was granted his release, although we should point out that there have been others who privately asked for their release and did not receive it.
For Harper the future is unclear. Either he can return to work and see out his contract for the next year or he can stay on the sidelines in protest, which will likely see WWE freeze his contract as they did with Neville a few years back, meaning he might have to wait even longer before he can jump ship.
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