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Report: WWE unwilling to grant Luke Harper his release, will extend his contract

It seems asking for your release and announcing it publicly is not the way to go if you want to leave WWE…

The latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter notes that Luke Harper will not be granted his release – in fact WWE plans to extend his contract. Their position is that he will not be able to leave until just before WrestleMania 36┬áin 2020 as they can say his deal was “frozen” while being out injured. His deal was due to end in November.

This tactic has previously been employed by WWE with Neville/Pac and also reportedly something they plan to use if the impasse with Sasha Banks cannot be resolved.

Vince McMahon’s approach to these situations is two fold – he does not want it to appear that talent wants to leave WWE, nor is he willing to help expand the talent pools of AEW, New Japan, ROH, and other promotions.


  • gar216

    If this were true, it would have happened already

  • CC

    Because you still sign a contract and are still bound by the rules of that contract.
    As I said, if these contracts were illegal in any way shape or form, do you think WWE would keep getting away with it, especially as it is not exactly a secret.

    What are you talking about with these guys? You find me any evidence of what you said about Punk, Lesnar and Del Rio, because I can tell you that what you are talking about has nothing to do with the situation at hand.
    What was settled with Punk? He refused to work, they made him sit on the sidelines then they released him on the day of his wedding. No court settlement.
    The only court case was about the staph infection, and that was with Dr Aman, nothing to do with the contract but due to negligence and lies about his illness.

  • oppa

    Can you explain to me how it is legal to tell an “independent contractor” what to wear and when to wear it? Or what they can and cannot do in their spare time? Or if they can work for someone else to earn extra money on their days off? Brock was going to challenge their contract status with him and they settled. Same with CM Punk. Del Rio was about to look into suing them as well when they struck a deal with him. WWE does not want things challenged in court and will settle very quickly instead of losing and having to change the way they do business.

  • oppa

    It’s been documented that there are close to 20 criteria that you have to meet to be an independent contractor and WWE meets 4 of them. If challenged in a federal court, WWE would be forced to call wrestlers employees.

  • CC

    I think that if this is true, it is being done specifically to scare other talent. Harper is being used as an example to other talent that you honour your contract or WWE will use every single legal term in your contract against you. He is being used as a pawn in a very dark power play. My guess is one of the main people this is aimed at scaring is Banks.

  • CC

    Are you a lawyer? The contracts WWE have are certainly not illegal. If they were illegal then something would have been done about this long ago.
    WWE are very savvy and have some of the best lawyers at their disposal, so moral or not, the contracts the talent sign are very much legal.

  • CC

    How is he kidnapping them? I think you might want to look up the meaning of that word.

  • What is illegal about independent contractors?

  • Efrain Gonzalez

    You how Vince is just keep working until your contract ends and leave putting it out there just makes it worse for yourself. Use Gallows and Anderson example come to work and tell WWE you are not resigning they can not do anything to you then.

  • Darrin Tyler

    so he holds them hostage? basically kidnapping them?

  • oppa

    He doesn’t want it to appear that talent want to leave WWE, even though talent are posting online that they want to leave and his own company has people leaking out negative stories to try and make people look bad. Bottom line is WWE’s contracts are already illegal given these people are “independent contractors” and are probably even more illegal than we know. There’s no way they can release Goldust and Luke, but keep Sasha. A lawyer will have a field day with that one.