WWE seems to be using Harper's contract situation as a way to dissuade other Superstars from going public with their complaints about the company.
There will always be disgruntled Superstars in WWE's locker room from time to time. However, more of them are currently airing their grievances in public than ever before. That's because, for the first time in almost two decades, wrestlers have other viable options away from WWE. Even though AEW is yet to have its first show, some former WWE talent have claimed their AEW contracts are the best of their careers.
A week ago, we thought that Harper would be the next wrestler to jump ship to AEW. WWE has put a stop to that by refusing to grant the frustrated Superstar his release. Instead, they have added time onto the end of it, claiming that it's only fair since he spent time on the shelf recovering from a wrist injury.
That all sounds a little suspect if you ask us. Why would you force an employee who is leaving due to lack of use to stay longer than he has to? And pay him in the process. We're clearly not the only ones who smell a rat. Wrestling Observer Newsletter believes the Harper situation is being used "to dissuade people from going public and saying they’re unhappy."
That certainly makes sense on the surface, and might well work in a lot of cases. If a Superstar has time left on his or her contract and wants out, sounds as if it's best to go about it quietly. Take Goldust, for instance. Not only did he not go public until his release had been granted, but when news did leak out earlier this year, he labeled it nonsense. Fast forward to today and he has been released from his WWE contract without issue.
If all of the rumors surrounding disgruntled Superstars are true, then WWE is sending some extremely mixed messages. Wrestlers such as Neville and Harper have been forced to see out their contracts after requesting releases. However, The Revival was seemingly rewarded for threatening to leave, and it looks as if Sasha Banks is about to get treated in a similar fashion. With the continued ascension of AEW, these mind games are only going to continue to get even more complex.