Earlier this year, Luke Harper asked for his release from WWE. The company refused him, added time to his initial contract for past injuries, and still hasn’t brought him back to TV.
Now, Vince McMahon has told an even bigger WWE superstar that he won’t go anywhere either and will just sit at home and take a paycheck while riding out his current WWE contract.
Dolph Ziggler has been on what he called a “handshake agreement” with WWE that allowed him to do things outside the company, such as his standup comedy tour, and then return when they need him.
However, after losing to Bill Goldberg at SummerSlam 2019 and then losing to The Miz on Monday Night Raw the night following that event, Dolph Ziggler was supposed to leave WWE.
According to Bodyslam.net, Dolph Ziggler went up to Vince McMahon before Monday Night Raw to thank him for everything he did for him over his career.
It was at that time that McMahon reportedly went back on their agreement to end Dolph Ziggler’s time with WWE as they had previously agreed upon. Instead, McMahon told Ziggler that he couldn’t let him go as a free agent and would rather pay Dolph to sit at home.
Likely, the reason McMahon is refusing to allow Ziggler to leave WWE completely is due to the fear of big names signing with AEW right before they start their TV show. Chris Jericho is promising two mystery opponents for the premiere episode and someone like Ziggler could be a huge name for one of those spots.
When Dean Ambrose left WWE on seemingly good terms and immediately showed up at AEW Double or Nothing, it likely ruined things for everyone wanting out of WWE.
Most believe that Ziggler wasn’t planning on going to AEW and just wanted to move back on with his standup comedy career without considering more wrestling action.
However, McMahon seemingly couldn’t take the chance on Ziggler “pulling a Lex Luger.”
When WCW started Monday Nitro, they shocked the world when Lex Luger walked out and joined the company. Vince McMahon was reportedly unaware that Luger never signed a new deal with WWE and left right after his last WWE match to jump to WCW.