PW Insider reports that, as with EC3, this is an early release from his contract as Anthem continues to cut costs. Wrestling Observer is already speculating that Lashley could be WWE bound. He was set-up to a top act for Vince McMahon in the late Aughts, including taking part in the huge angle with Vince and Donald Trump at WrestleMania 23, before leaving in 2008.
A decorated wrestler in college and the U.S. Army, Lashley has pursued a professional mixed martial arts career while working with Impact over the last several years. Many, including the former ECW champion himself, believe that makes him an ideal opponent for Brock Lesnar - either in UFC or WWE.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Lashley’s write-off doesn’t sound as definitive as EC3’s was, but he did lose twice in two nights to Brian Cage. Cage also ended EC3’s run and looks set as Impact’s next big star, so this is a logical way to continue his push using a departing former champion. He did take a bow for the live crowd in Orlando.