WWE is in an awkward place right now. They have watched an upstart promotion in AEW wrestling pop up and give wrestlers an alternative.
With Chris Jericho deciding to work for a different company after being with the WWE for two decades and Kenny Omega turning down a seven-figure deal to sign with AEW, the WWE is trying to stop talent from leaving.
However, Dean Ambrose chose not to re-sign with WWE when his contract expires in April and Rikishi has claimed that his sons, the Usos, might become free agents as well. Now, ESPN reports that Tye Dillinger, the Perfect 10, has officially requested his release as well.
Dillinger requested his release on Tuesday night at the SmackDown Live tapings and then made it public on Twitter.
— Ronnie Arneill (@perfec10n) February 20, 2019
“I feel at this time this decision, as extremely difficult as it was, is what is best for myself and WWE,” Dillinger said. “I wish to continue to grow as a performer and offer those paying hard earned money to watch a show I’m performing on, a little more of myself.”
Tye Dillinger had been in developmental longer than just about anyone in WWE. To put it in perspective, he worked with Cody Rhodes when he was in developmental. Dillinger finally made it to the main roster two years ago at the Royal Rumble PPV and then did nothing after his call-up.
He did receive a couple of United States title shots, but after challenging for that title against Shinsuke Nakamura on Sept. 25 last year, he hasn’t made it back on television since. In a recent interview, Nakamura himself said that Dillinger was one of the most underrated wrestlers in WWE.
Cody Rhodes, who is now helping run AEW wrestling, responded to the request on Twitter as well.
Fearless. I can’t wait to see what you do next. I wish you all the happiness in the world old friend.
Don’t settle. https://t.co/ZTcZtDiycf
— Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodes) February 20, 2019
If Tye Dillinger is awarded his release, he won’t be able to wrestle anywhere for 90 days, which is the same week as the AEW Double or Nothing PPV. If the WWE waits to offer the release, they could ensure he couldn’t make that event, even if he wanted to sign with AEW.
Tye Dillinger, real name Ronald Arneill, is also dating WWE superstar Peyton Royce of the IIconics. It was just yesterday that she thanked him for being her greatest supporter and the love of her life — on his birthday.