It was just under one month ago that Luke Harper, fed up with not being used on television and eager to actually put in some work in a ring, asked for his release from WWE. Not only did the powers that be fail to grant that release, they actually extended his contract to account for time he missed due to injury.
Feels bad, man.
An update from Dave Meltzer in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter makes it feel even worse.
Meltzer explains that Harper hasn’t been booked for anything in the future but also won’t be allowed out of the contract he’s under. In response, he went to Vince McMahon to ask if he could simply be let go when his contract comes up in November instead of after the aforementioned six month extension. Vince apparently told him to, as the Observer puts it, “take it up with Paul Levesque, who then didn’t respond to him.”
Feels really bad, man.
WWE, as a business, has every reason to keep Harper under contract. AEW is looking more and more like a legitimate competitor, or at least a promotion that could turn into one, and releasing Harper could simply lead him right to their front door. Having said that, he wants out and forcing him to stay simply because it may be in the best interest of the bottom line is the kind of cold business practice that, well, feels very, very bad.
Especially hearing the particulars of how that’s being handled.