Early last week, when Luke Harper announced on social media that he’d requested his release from WWE, we all sort of assumed they’d give it to him. They haven’t been using him to his potential, after all, and most superstars don’t tweet about things like that until it’s a done deal. And for all the talk of WWE not wanting to let people go with the specter of AEW on the horizon, they’ve recently granted releases to other stars whose potential they never managed (or really tried) to cash in on.
Unfortunately for Harper, it looks like he’s not so lucky. According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WWE is not granting Harper’s release, and in fact they’re extending it by six months. Apparently his contract was supposed to be up in November 2019, but they have the option of extending it to make up for the time he missed due to wrist surgery, which they’re now doing to keep him well into 2020.
Meanwhile, WON also says that Vince McMahon wanted to pull something similar with Goldust, to stop him joining his brother in AEW, but Triple H talked him out of it. Ironically, this comes amid other WON reports that WWE doesn’t want to be seen as “the bad guy promotion,” by wrestling fans, which apparently has resulted in a lot of viewer surveys and efforts to keep from separating couples in the brand split. Here’s a thought for WWE: If you don’t want to look villainous to fans, don’t keep wrestlers trapped when they want to leave, and certainly don’t keep them longer as punishment. John Oliver already told the world how bad your contracts are, and this only makes you look worse.