Backstage News On WWE’s Plans For Luke Harper, Why Harper Asked For His WWE Release

Backstage News On WWE's Plans For Luke Harper, Talk On Why Harper Asked For His WWE Release

Luke Harper’s WWE status is currently up in the air but WWE had plans for him to return to the ring and work a program with Sami Zayn, according to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio.

There’s no word yet on why they changed direction, but the Zayn – Harper feud was nixed.

After undergoing double ligament reconstruction surgery on October 2, 2018, Harper was cleared to return to the ring on February 6 of this year. For one reason or another, WWE never brought him back to the storylines and he worked just a few non-televised matches. He was brought to just one TV taping since the surgery in October. At 39 years old, Harper reportedly felt like it was time to move on from WWE so he could continue his pro wrestling career, because they apparently had nothing for him. This is why he requested his release earlier this month. Meltzer noted that one source close to the situation said leaving WWE would be best for Harper.

As noted earlier this week, via the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Harper won’t be able to leave WWE until around WrestleMania 36 time in 2020 because WWE has decided to add another 6 months to his contract to make up for the time he missed for wrist surgery. The contract was to end in November of this year, but WWE has added to it because it was “frozen” while he was on the shelf with the injury. It remains to be seen if WWE plans on bringing him back to TV before the contract expires. He is currently listed on the SmackDown roster.

There’s no word yet on if Harper was trying to get released so he could go work for All Elite Wrestling, but he indicated he was ready to continue his career and AEW was rumored. Harper is good friends with AEW’s Vice President of Business Strategy, Chris Harrington.

The former WWE Intercontinental Champion and SmackDown Tag Team Champion took to Twitter back on April 16 to announce that he had requested his release from the company. Before that, going into his Worlds Collide match with Dominik Dijakovic at the WrestleMania 35 Axxess tapings, Harper had tweeted about being unhappy with his position in the company and being concerned with his future. Harper won that match over Dijakovic, which was his first WWE TV match since late summer 2018. He then appeared in the 6th Annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal on the WrestleMania 35 Kickoff pre-show, but was eliminated by winner Braun Strowman. WrestleMania 35 could end up being Harper’s final WWE appearance.

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