In Harper’s case, the former SmackDown Tag Team Champion requested his release in April, writing on social media:
“As of this evening, I have requested a release from WWE. The past 6 years have been a simply, amazing journey around the world and back with lifelong friends and family. I am proud of it all and proud to say I shared the ring with my co workers. This decision, as difficult as it was, feels right for myself and WWE. My goal in the future is to continue to grow as a performer and person and continue to make my family proud. Thank you. From the top to the bottom of WWE. Thank you to the fans for your undying support. Thank you everyone.”
As previously reported, Harper will be a free agent on March 8, 2020 after his non-compete clause expires. According to Dave Meltzer on the latest episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, Harper’s contract was set to expire around that point anyway, as he was set to become a free agent roughly two weeks later on March 25, 2020.
Harper’s contract was originally set to expire in November, however it was extended due to the time that he missed for a wrist injury. He was briefly brought back to WWE programming in September and October, but wasn’t used shortly after.
Additionally, Meltzer is reporting that there may be more releases to come. Several stars have asked for their release, and while some didn’t initially get their request approved, it is expected that more announcements are on the way.