Today’s announcements by WWE on wrestler releases may come as a surprise to some people but this was in the works for at least a couple of weeks.
Dave Meltzer reported a couple of weeks ago that there was a push by some in management to let unhappy wrestlers go. Vince McMahon was the person who was resisting letting them go because the feeling is that they could jump to the competition. Triple H was the person who convinced McMahon to grant Dustin Runnels (Goldust) his release so he may have played a part in convincing McMahon to grant the latest releases.
The feeling is that the company will let some wrestlers go, specifically wrestlers who will not make a huge difference if All Elite Wrestling were interested in singing them. AEW is not looking to sign a lot of former WWE stars so there’s no guarantee that any of the recent WWE releases will be going there. Luke Harper seems more likely since he is friends with key people in AEW. In his case, it made sense to let him go since he was expected to leave in a few months at the end of his contract. His deal was supposed to expire last month but WWE added time to his contract to make up for time he missed while he was injured.
A WWE source told me that another reason why the company is more open to releasing some wrestlers is that it helps them cut down on salaries while freeing up more money to offer deals to mid and upper card wrestlers who they don’t want to leave the company.