Bray Wyatt Released by WWE

Posted By James Walsh on 07/31/21


In a shocking bit of news that seemingly came out of nowhere, WWE has announced that former WWE World Heavyweight & Universal champion Bray Wyatt, aka The Fiend, has been released from he company. Here’s the details straight from WWE.com:

Bray Wyatt released

WWE has come to terms on the release of Bray Wyatt. We wish him the best in all his future endeavors.

Wyatt had recently been MIA from WWE TV since his loss to Randy Orton at WrestleMania 37 last April and a subsequent Firefly Funhouse segment the following night on Raw. It was reported earlier this month that he was being kept off of TV for a “specific reason,” but it was believed to not be any sort of creative issue. At the time, there wasn’t any sort of timetable for him to return.

Wyatt, real name Windham Lawrence Rotunda, first joined WWE as a developmental worker in 2009. He later joined NXT under the ring name Husky Harris before later transitioning to Bray Wyatt with The Wyatt Family stable in the NXT brand, which later transitioned to the main roster.

During his WWE career, Wyatt held the WWE Championship, the Universal Championship, and the Raw and SmackDown tag team titles. Wyatt’s brother, former WWE Superstar Bo Dallas, was also released from WWE earlier this year.

PWInsider has another update on the release of Bray Wyatt, which as noted was due to budget reasons. It was noted that Wyatt did not ask for his release. John Laurinaitis, who called him to inform him of the decision, wasn’t at TV as he’s in the middle of moving to Connecticut.

The reaction backstage has been one of shock, especially due to how big The Fiend was for merchandise in decent years. The character sold a lot of t-shirts and action figures. One source blamed WWE President Nick Khan and CFO Kristina Salen, claiming the two are “obsessed” with WWE not being in the red at all even after the most recent financial quarter. It was said that in the past, even while cutting costs, there would be “more leniency.”

The relationship between Wyatt and Vince McMahon “ran very hot and cold” at points, and since McMahon is giving Khan more freedom than anyone else in history to run things, there likely wasn’t as much push back over cutting Wyatt.

Earlier this week during an investor’s call, Vince McMahon made a comment about handing AEW ‘more investments’, and that may end up prophetic according to another source, who noted that Wyatt’s 90-day non-compete clause will run out the week before AEW Full Gear.

Meanwhile, no other releases are expected today.

UPDATE 2: F4WOnline.com reports that according to Dave Meltzer, WWE Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis informed Bray Wyatt that his release today was due to budget cuts. Additionally, Wyatt was reportedly prepping for an August return and was said to have been booked for some shows before this decision was made.

PWInsider is reporting that Bray Wyatt had “disappeared” from WWE’s internal some weeks ago before this news became official. However, WWE had not made an official stance on Wyatt yet until now.

Additionally, WWE Superstar Alexa Bliss, who had been in, and arguably still is, in a storyline based around Bray Wyatt and The Fiend going back to last year commented on the news via her own Twitter account. You can read her statement below:

“I really am at a loss for words… thank you so much Windham for everything you’ve done for this company. The most fun I’ve had is working with you. Such an amazing talent & the most kind person. I’m just in shock.”

Bliss’ current gimmick and character were borne out of her alliance with The Fiend and being seduced to the dark side by him. However, it appeared that at WrestleMania 37, Bliss might’ve started to draw away The Fiend’s power for herself to become the new Dark Lord of Monday Night Raw.