www.thesportster.com

10 Reported Names That May Leave WWE When Their Contracts Expire (And 10 Likely To Get Released)

Contracts are a constant talking point in WWE and on the dirt sheets as everyone wants to know the status of their beloved WWE Superstars while the company are constantly trying to maintain good relations with everyone.

For the company, WWE is always hoping to extend longer deals in order to tie down the talent meaning they are only able to make a decision about their futures rather than allow the WWE Superstars to have negotiating power.

However, every now and then a talents contract do run down when a deal can't be agreed between them and that can be because the superstar is hoping to leave the company, or so they can try and work themselves a bigger deal.

With wrestling bigger now than it has been in years, there are viable options for WWE Superstars away from the company, as has been proven by Cody Rhodes and because of that, some of the roster may very well be weighing up their options and considering leaving for a new challenge.

Right now WWE has a huge roster and because of that, there isn't enough space for everyone, especially when you look at the huge number of incredible talents coming up through the NXT system as well.

Because of that, the company often releases superstars throughout the year who are surplus to requirements and aren't being used in order to free up more of a budget and more creative space for new, fresh superstars.

Within this article, we will take a look at 10 wrestlers who might be looking to angle a way to leave WWE when their contracts come to an end and 10 superstars who WWE might decide to release themselves.

20 May Leave: Tye Dillinger

via wwe.com

Tye Dillinger has worked in WWE for a lot longer than most people know, being contracted to the company all the way back to the FCW days, but only got his break after an incredible amount of work.

Dillinger managed to get himself incredibly over with the fans to the point where 10 chants would break out in seemingly every single match and it seems he has been punished for that as he now barely gets used on SmackDown.

Sadly, no matter how hard he tries it seems like Dillinger can't quite do enough to impress the management and it might be time for him to look at new opportunities outside of WWE, especially considering how big independent wrestling has become.

19 Might Get Released: Erick Rowan

via wwe.com

Erick Rowan has always been seen as the least talented member from the Wyatt Family, with Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper having far superior abilities inside the ring and on the microphone, which is why both men have thrived on their own.

Sadly for Rowan, he only seems to work when he is in a team, whether that be with Harper or in a bigger stable like the Wyatt Family and that is where WWE might deem him to be expendable.

Plus it doesn't help that Rowan has been fairly injury prone during his time in the company and when WWE has so much talent coming through the ranks in NXT, Rowan might be someone who has to make way.

18 May Leave: Zack Ryder

via wwe.com

The only way Zack Ryder is ever going to not work for WWE is if he decides to call time on his career because he has bought that much good will during his tenure with the company that they aren't going to release him, despite the fact he is never used.

Ryder certainly has the popularity to be a big star outside of WWE and if he markets himself correctly he could do great things, but it is a question of whether or not he is ready to gamble on himself.

While he might be very loyal to the company, perhaps too loyal, there comes a point when you have to decide if you want to work and not just sit on the sidelines and after a while of doing the latter, this contract may be his final one.

17 Might Get Released: SAnitY

via wwe.com

Nikki Cross is probably counting her lucky stars at the fact she didn't get called up to the main roster alongside SAnitY when they first debuted because even though they had plenty of momentum behind them, the group has failed to make a mark.

For whatever reason, the group just hasn't featured on SmackDown and has now lost all of the positivity that was surrounding it as not just one, but three excellent talents go to waste.

However, WWE might see that as an opportunity to cut its spending and provide some room on the main roster for another group to move up, perhaps the Undisputed Era, which could end up being the final straw for SAnitY.

16 May Leave: Hideo Itami

via wwe.com

When Hideo Itami was first brought into WWE he was pushed as one of the next big stars and he was set for a major run in NXT until he became cursed with injuries that derailed all of his momentum.

Since then he has never been the same and it is a huge shame to see someone as talented as him be wasted in 205 Live, where he doesn't even appear on a weekly basis like other names such as Cedric Alexander.

Itami has already made a return to Japan for some one-off dates that WWE has agreed to, but when his contract expires Itami might be looking to make that a little more permanent as he knows he is still a major star in the country.

15 Might Get Released: Mojo Rawley

via instagram.com

It's fair to say Mojo Rawley isn't one of the most popular superstars among fans, and seemingly his work colleagues, as he comes across as annoying as he is on TV in real life, which must be hard work for all who have to interact with him.

Rawley was pushed strongly by the company during his initial run on the main roster, which included him scoring a victory at WrestleMania in the Andre The Giant Battle Royal, but it felt like he was simply being used to get Gronk to appear.

Now that he has served that purpose, Rawley hasn't been used by the company and simply appears on WWE's Main Event show. That show tends to be a key sign for future releases and Rawley appears to be heading in that direction only.

14 May Leave: Brock Lesnar

via WWE.com

This one might seem obvious on the surface as Brock Lesnar is seemingly destined for a return back to the octagon with UFC at some stage in 2019, but given how many times he has re-signed with WWE in this year alone, it isn't as simple as it first appears.

However, it does feel like this will be the final run for Lesnar, at least until he finally retires from MMA, at which point he might return for one more quick cash grab in what would be a retirement match.

If Lesnar was able to have one more big match at WrestleMania 35 before walking away he would likely do so as a rich man and it would end his business with WWE on good terms, which would suit everyone involved.

13 Might Get Released: No Way Jose

via Chairshot.com

While he is a talented wrestler, No Way Jose has been burdened with a difficult gimmick as it is very one note that can't be taken overly seriously as it is all about a party and dancing, which is something that doesn't work well with wrestling.

It was seen when Adam Rose made his move to the main roster that a fun-loving gimmick that might work in NXT doesn't do well in front of a bigger audience and that is why No Way Jose has now found himself no longer being used on TV.

While it might be a fun gimmick to roll out for the younger audiences, fans quickly become tired of it and ultimately if someone isn't being used on television then they aren't needed and that can lead to a release.

12 May Leave: Randy Orton

via wwe.com

Right now the Viper is putting on some of the best work of his career. Once again a heel it seems like he has had a burst of energy and has found his love for the business once again, but that doesn't mean he wants to do it forever.

Orton has done everything there is to do in WWE and is now winding down his career. Already working a limited schedule, Orton is seemingly doing everything in his power to appear less and less and therefore it makes sense that when his contract finally runs out he might want to call it a day.

Sure, he might still make the odd appearance as other legends do, but with Orton firmly a family man now it seems like his future is set on spending as much time with them as possible, rather than in the ring.

11 Might Get Released: Alicia Fox

via wwe.com

Alicia Fox is probably one of the most underrated female performers in the last 10 years as she has been around for an incredible amount of time but accomplished very little, despite always having good character work and being a solid hand in the ring.

Because of those facts, WWE has kept Foxy around and uses her to fill in when needed, but she is never featured in a major storyline, with her most recent opportunity only coming at Evolution due to Alexa Bliss's concussion.

With so much female talent now working in WWE, all of which can add much more strength to the roster, WWE might let Fox go to facilitate space for new names like Bianca Belair who will be able to make more used of the spot as the WWE Universe simply doesn't take Foxy seriously anymore.

10 May Leave: Dean Ambrose

via youtube.com

He might be one of WWE's top superstars right now who is enjoying a recent heel turn and plenty of TV time, but that doesn't mean that the Lunatic Fringe is looking to work for years to come like some of his other locker room buddies.

Ambrose went through a very difficult 2018, being injured and then experiencing further complications from an infection. With all that in mind, it seems he has started to question how much longer he actually wants to continue performing at the very top for.

During his WWE Chronicle Ambrose stated that his next trip around the world with WWE might be his last one, which could be a sign he is looking for an early retirement when his contract comes to an end.

9 Might Get Released: Jinder Mahal

via wwe.com

Jinder Mahal getting pushed to the moon almost overnight and subsequently having a lackluster WWE Championship run is something just about every fan saw coming. At no point did Jinder ever prove he was a great in-ring worker, or display the charisma needed from a world champion. It seems WWE has realized that mistake as well. Since dropping the WWE title a year ago, Mahal has just a brief U.S. championship reign on his resume and his push doesn't seem to be getting restarted. Mahal's been released once before and if his prominence on WWE television doesn't pick up, he may find himself part of the post-WrestleMania cuts.

8 May Leave: Sheamus

via wwe.com

It might seem very random to people to learn that the Celtic Warrior might consider just walking away from WWE when his current contract expires, after all, he has been one of the top stars in the company ever since he debuted.

WWE has always pushed Sheamus from the day he first arrived on the main roster and it has been fairly consistent since then, especially with his recent run alongside Cesaro as The Bar where he has taken his career to a new level.

Sadly though, Sheamus has an underlying neck injury that he has been dealing with for some time now and given how careful WWE Superstars must be when neck problems arise, at his age, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him bring his career to an end after his contract expires.

7 Might Get Released: Tyler Breeze

via wwe.com

He might have been one of Triple H's pet projects in NXT that was always given a featured role at Takeover events, but when he arrived on the main roster Prince Pretty quickly slipped down the card to the point of no return.

While a brief tag team run with Fandango may have put the inevitable on hold, it seems like the company has no plans for him a singles wrestler despite how talented and charismatic Breeze is.

With Fandango on the shelf for the foreseeable future, WWE doesn't have much use for Breeze other than to do the job for other superstars and sadly for him, WWE has people who can do that and fulfill other roles such as Titus O'Neil and he might be one who gets let go when the time comes for WWE to change things up.

6 May Leave: The Club

via wwe.com

It is crazy to think that prior to joining WWE, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows were one of the biggest tag teams in the world. As part of the Bullet Club, the duo had seen their stars rise to new heights and there was a lot of anticipation prior to them joining WWE.

Despite a strong start which saw them become Tag Team Champions and enjoy a run alongside AJ Styles the team has slowly faded into the background to the point where the Good Brothers are no longer even used on TV.

With the way things have gone for the Bullet Club since they left it would be no surprise to see them leave WWE after their contracts end as the company clearly has no plans for them, with the team going back to what they did before.

5 Might Get Released: Rusev

via wwe.com

Sometimes when a talent is fairly outspoken it immediately rings alarm bells among upper management of WWE because they aren't sure whether or not they are going to cause problems for them.

For anyone who follows Rusev on social media, they will know that he doesn't have a problem in calling out WWE or questioning why he isn't being used in a certain way, which doesn't really go along with the way WWE likes to do business.

Given that Rusev isn't really a featured talent anymore, struggling to get any TV time on SmackDown Live, the company might just decide to cut its losses and let Rusev go.

4 May Leave: Shinsuke Nakamura

via sbnation.com

It's fair to say that things haven't gone well for him so far on the main roster and it is clear that WWE management and creative don't quite know how to handle him in the same way that the company did in NXT.

Instead of being used in fantastic matches that display his hard-hitting style, Nakamura barely appears on SmackDown Live and as a result of that, he has had an incredibly underwhelming run as United States Champion.

With wrestling in Japan currently booming more than it has in years when his contract ends it would not be a surprise to see the King Of Strong Style give up his mid-card status and return to the main event heights of New Japan Pro Wrestling.

3 Might Get Released: The Revival

via wwe.com

Despite the fact that The Revival is an incredibly talented team, arguably one of the best in the business right now, offering a throwback to an old-school style of yesteryear, they simply haven't worked on the main roster.

Several poorly timed injuries haven't helped the team as whenever they looked to be getting pushed a nagging injury pulled them back, but the fact remains that Vince McMahon doesn't seem to understand the team in the way Triple H did.

The tag team division in general in WWE is very poor and there are some big changes coming to its future and sadly that is going to mean people have to be cut in order for that to happen, and the Top Guys might just be top of that list.

2 May Leave: AJ Styles

via wwe.com

It has been reported by Fightful.com that WWE is currently trying to negotiate a new three-year deal with AJ Styles to keep The Phenomenal One around for the foreseeable future, but it isn't just as simple as putting a piece of paper in front of his face.

While Styles once might have been incredibly excited to finally reach the WWE level, things have changed since then with AJ achieving seemingly everything he wanted to and more, and now he is looking to reduce his schedule heavily.

Styles wants to spend more time with his family and that is his priority moving forward, which means if WWE doesn't give him what he wants, he might just go and find a reduced schedule somewhere else.

1 Might Get Released: Nia Jax

via wwe.com

While WWE is certainly a physical world and injuries do happen, when one superstar stars frequently hurting top talents it can become a major issue, mainly because it is important for the wrestlers to be looking after each other inside the ring.

Unfortunately, Nia Jax has had a history recently of injuring her fellow superstars with Charlotte, Bayley, Zelina Vega, and most infamously, Becky Lynch all sustaining blows at the hands of Jax.

It has been speculated that there is major heat on her right now and if you look at what has happened to talent who injure others in the past, such as Mr. Kennedy, seeing her be released wouldn't be a huge surprise.

More in Wrestling