WWE Releases Bray Wyatt From His Contract
WWE unexpectedly announces Bray Wyatt has been released from his contract. Wyatt has performed for the wrestling company for over a decade.
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Bray Wyatt has been released from his contract with WWE. The wrestling star has been a mainstay of the WWE’s programming for over a decade with three world championships under his belt, including one WWE Championship and two Universal Championships. Wyatt’s departure comes as a shock to many fans considering the wrestler’s tenured career.
Wyatt comes from a family with a wrestling legacy that begins with his grandfather, whose ring name was Blackjack Mulligan, and extends to his father Mike Rotunda, uncles Barry and Kendall Windham, and brother Taylor Rotunda (a.k.a. Bo Dallas). Wyatt was born Windham Lawrence Rotunda and didn’t adopt his current ring name until his career was well underway. Wyatt began wrestling under a number of different names before adopting the Husky Harris persona as part of WWE’s main roster on NXT and as part of The Nexus. After a stint on FCW, Rotunda developed the character Bray Wyatt, a member of the Wyatt Family stable that also included Erick Rowan and Luke Harper. Wyatt has also won SmackDown and Raw Tag Team Championships.
In an unexpected announcement, WWE shared Saturday afternoon that Bray Wyatt has been let go from his contract with the media company. Rotunda most recently lost to Randy Orton at Wrestlemania 37 as “The Fiend,” his latest character. His last brief WWE appearance was on Firefly Fun House in April in a segment. Wyatt has been conspicuously absent from WWE programming since then. Here’s WWE’s statement regarding the split:
WWE has come to terms on the release of Bray Wyatt. We wish him the best in all his future endeavors.
Fellow WWE wrestlers are sharing their respect and admiration for Wyatt on social media. Alexa Bliss, who was involved in Wyatt’s match against Orton as a distraction, took to Twitter to commend her peer. Bliss’ Twitter set her account to private; below is her comment:
“I really am at a loss for words thank you so much Windham for everything you’ve done for this company. The most fun I’ve had is working with you. Such an amazing talent & the most kind person. I’m just in shock.”
Braun Strowman, another wrestler who recently severed ties with WWE, tweeted a more lighthearted sendoff:
Brother I’m waiting!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/7UOA8N8XgT
The wrestler’s departure follows on the heels of other recent high-profile firings from the WWE, including those of Samoa Joe, Mickie James, and Aleister Black. WWE has had to implement layoffs in response to pandemic-related struggles, and it has let go a significant cohort of stars that includes Kurt Angle, Rusev, Drake Maverick, Zack Ryder, Curt Hawkins, Karl Anderson, and many others. Neither the company nor Wyatt has specified why his contract is ending or which party initiated the discussion. There is speculation that his recent hiatus is due to medical issues.
Reactions to the contract termination have been divided, with many receiving the news as a shock. Wyatt has been a familiar face to wrestling fans since 2009 and ends his time at the company after 12 years at age 34. Now a free agent, Wyatt may have plans to migrate to All Elite Wrestling (AEW), WWE’s relatively new competitor that’s scooping up wrestlers as WWE releases them. The possibility of his re-signing with WWE in the future isn’t out of the question, although either Wyatt or the company may have already eliminated the option. Wyatt recently tweeted that he misses his fans, which may mean that the wrestler is eager to jump back in the ring.