The plot thickens in the Luke Harper saga. There are now reports that the Superstar initially requested to be released as far back as November.
All is not well backstage in WWE right now. At least that's what it sounds like. For the first time in almost two decades, there is a wrestling company that can offer similarly sized contracts as WWE. Not only that, but the current belief is wrestlers who join up with AEW will also be treated more favorably and have more creative control.
That is seemingly the reason why so many WWE Superstars want to leave. It's also the reason why WWE is reluctant to let them go. While Goldust and Dean Ambrose have been allowed to leave, others such as Sasha Banks and Luke Harper are apparently being forced to stick around. That is almost definitely the case for Harper.
After requesting his release from WWE in April, Vince McMahon reacted by tacking on six months to the end of his contract. That means he is stuck in WWE until around this time next year. According to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, April wasn't the first time Harper asked to be let go. The latest twist claims he actually requested his release as far back as last November.
Apparently, in November, Harper went to Mr. McMahon and asked to be released from his contract. The chairman told him to take it up with Triple H who simply didn't respond. Harper clearly thought he could make a go of it after, and didn't have much choice. WrestleMania came and went and there was still no sign of a bright future in WWE for Harper, so he requested his release for a second time.
The most frustrating part of this for Harper, and perhaps even for Mr. McMahon, is that when he first asked for his release, AEW didn't even technically exist. Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks didn't officially unveil the company until the turn of the year. The first time Harper's release request was denied it sounds as if it was simply due to him being lost in the shuffle. Now, it appears he is being kept around simply so he can't wrestle elsewhere.