Harper announced Tuesday that he formally requested his release from WWE.
“As of this evening, I have requested a release from WWE. The past 6 years have been a simply, amazing journey around the world and back with lifelong friends and family. I am proud of it all and proud to say I shared the ring with my co workers,” Harper wrote in a statement posted on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.
“This decision, as difficult as it was, feels right for myself and WWE. My goal in the future is to continue to grow as a performer and person and continue to make my family proud.
“Thank you. From the top to the bottom of WWE. Thank you to the fans for your undying support. Thank you everyone.”
Dave Meltzer said last night on Wrestling Observer Radio that Harper remains under contract to WWE. Although the 39-year-old requested his release, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be granted.
Meltzer added that Harper’s contract expires in November. However, there’s a clause in his contract where WWE could retain him for the amount of time that he was out with a recent injury, which is five months.
After undergoing wrist surgery in October — while Rowan was out of action due to a torn right bicep — Harper resumed competing at house shows last month. He returned to television at WrestleMania 35 as an entrant in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and defeated NXT Superstar Dominik Dijakovic the day before at WrestleMania Axxess. Their match aired Sunday on the WWE Network special WWE Worlds Collide, which featured matches between current NXT Superstars and NXT alumni.
Harper has not appeared on SmackDown LIVE since returning to action. Rowan returned to television in January at the Royal Rumble, interfering on behalf of Daniel Bryan to help him retain the WWE Championship against AJ Styles. Rowan then formed an alliance with Bryan.
Harper last wrestled on April 9 in a dark match at SmackDown LIVE, beating EC3 in a singles match.