Source: Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter available at PWTorch.com
Technically, the wrestlers who recently left TNA were not released. TNA doesn't believe in releasing wrestlers when they still have dates remaining on their contracts. Rather, their deals were just not renewed.
The Petey Williams decision took just about everyone by surprise because he'd been with the company so long. He was also considered a good hand who didn't rock the boat and accepted whatever they gave him creatively. However, creative apparently determined that they didn't have anything for him and the decision was made to move on.
"Why they wouldn't bend over backwards to sign a guy who doesn't do drugs or drink, looks like he does while being able to pass a drug test, and works hard and never b-----s I'll never know, but I guess it's just the way things were meant to be," remarked inside source.
The company never made a formal offer to Williams, so this was not a case of him demanding too much money or even the company low-balling him. His deal wasn't set to expire until March, but he finished with the company at the last set of television tapings. He reportedly shaved his head and goatee a short time after he worked his last match to abandon the Scott Steiner look.
More than one person has stated that Williams was vulnerable because he wasn't tight with Jeff Jarrett. Although they weren't enemies, Williams wasn't the type to hang out at Jarrett's table at the hotel bar and suck up to him like some of the hanger-ons.
The actual match was booked to be a short sprint for him to shine some more, ending with Swagger getting counted out or some crazy no contest. Vince ended up changing the show to what it ended up being. It was seen internally as Vince having no vision of Christian as a star.