WWE released Luke Harper from the company last week, along with Sin Cara and tag team, The Ascension. Many fans wondered why WWE finally decided to give him his release after denying it before.
Luke Harper asked for his WWE release back in April. That was interesting timing because his 90-day non-compete clause would have ended one month before AEW All-Out and most fans expect him to end up there when he can sign with anyone.
WWE not only denied the release — they added four months to the end of his contract.
WWE has a stipulation in their contracts where if a wrestler is injured while doing their job for the company, they can punish the wrestler by adding time onto the end to replace the time they missed.
So, because Harper injured himself performing for WWE, they punished him by adding time onto his contract when he made it clear he wanted to leave the company.
Then, on December 8, WWE officially released Luke Harper. So, why did they finally relent?
WWE has come to terms on the release of Jonathan Huber (Luke Harper).https://t.co/IWUPvEKCnq
— WWE (@WWE) December 8, 2019
Harper still has the non-compete clause. Only wrestlers who complete their contracts with WWE do not have that clause (Jon Moxley is an example). This means he can’t work for another major promotion on TV for 90 days.
Ninety days from the time of his release is March 8, 2020. The deal here is that Harper’s official last day of his contract with WWE, with the added-on time, is March 25 (per Wrestling Observer Radio).
This means that if they had just held him captive until the end of his contract, without using him as they have for most of the year, he would still be able to join any company on March 25.
Now, he just gets two extra weeks, which isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things. And WWE doesn’t have to pay him for the last three months of his deal.
It makes WWE look good for finally releasing someone who didn’t want to be there, but made no difference in the end when it came to granting him his freedom to move on.