A few weeks ago, the word got out that talks had opened up between Neville and WWE. WWE wants to keep him, even after reports that he’s been unhappy for a long time. The tentative plans were for him to return as part of the Smackdown Live brand (and presumably out of the cruiserweight division).
This week, according to a report by PWInsider, those talks came to an abrupt end. It’s not clear why talks went south but the only thing we know is that he has not been granted his release and he could end up sitting out for the remainder of his contract. That means that he’ll get paid his downside guarantee but he would not be able to wrestle elsewhere until his deal expires. The tricky thing is that there is a clause that allows WWE to extend contracts if a wrestler chooses not to appear on shows. WWE extended Rey Mysterio’s contract before eventually working out a deal to grant his release. In theory, Daniel Bryan could sit at home but his deal would be extended so he is working as the Smackdown GM even though it’s not necessarily a role that he thrilled about.
Neville, and wisely so, has been silent on social media and has declined requests to talk about the issues with WWE. It’s an unfortunate deal for him because he is 31 years old and probably has many good in-ring years ahead. His wrestling career is on ice until some sort of deal, either for an in-ring return or release, can be reached.
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