Basically, Vince McMahon told Harper in writing that he wouldn’t release him. As previously noted, Harper was scheduled to be in a feud with Sami Zayn after WrestleMania 35 but those plans were scrapped.
One person close to the situation said Harper needs to get out of the company because the call was made that they weren’t going to use him after McMahon saw him during his return match. Basically, McMahon said he did not “get him” and complained that Harper couldn’t do a Southern accent. Apparently, McMahon wanted Harper to do a Southern accent four years ago.
There were signs that Harper was not a priority when he was not booked for WrestleMania but he was booked for a match at Axxess. Then, out of the blue, McMahon asked why he wasn’t in the Andre The Giant Memorial battle royal so that explains why he was added to the match at the last minute.
Harper was expecting the feud with Zayn to kick off after Mania but was then told that he was not needed for TV and then went home but then was called to return for a dark match with EC3. You may recall that we wrote about EC3 being paired with Drake Maverick as a test run but that was quickly dropped because McMahon hated the manager spots.
On the day of the Superstar Shake-Up, there was a creative meeting and Harper’s name was brought up. McMahon said the guy can’t even do a Southern accent and said the match with EC3 was bad so he was not assigned to a brand and that is when Harper asked to be released.
What makes things even worse for Harper is WWE has added time to his contract for the time he was gone due to a wrist injury.