The WWE has repeatedly shocked fans in 2021 by ousting more than a few high-profile superstars from its roster, but arguably nothing has been as surprising as the news that arrived on July 30, when the wrestling organization announced 12-year veteran and former champion Bray Wyatt was being released. Why would the company give the axe to a wrestler that has unquestionably been of the most beloved brawlers in recent years? Now, coupled with Wyatt's former colleague Alexa Bliss sharing her reaction with the internet, some rumors have surfaced regarding The Fiend's release.
As far as an "official" reason for why Bray Wyatt was released, Fightful.com (via ewrestling.com) reported that the WWE's Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis phoned Wyatt (real name Windham Rotunda) and told him he'd been released due to budget cuts. This would make sense from a practicality standpoint, as many of the other recently released WWE talent have noted the same factor sparking their firings, and it's no secret the WWE lost out on tons of money after being forced to halt their touring and live shows throughout the bulk of 2020 and early 2021. Still, it doesn't fully explain why Wyatt of all people was sacrificed, especially just before one of its biggest events of the year, SummerSlam 2021.
But it allegedly wasn't only about budgetary reasons, as the rumor mill also points to creative disagreements. Playing into past rumors, the WWE reportedly wanted to bring Bray Wyatt back in August, presumably for SummerSlam, but it's claimed that Wyatt was being protective over exactly how his character returned, and that he was upset with some of the ideas that the creative team proposed to him. That said, it was also noted that no one from the WWE's creative team spoke to Wyatt personally, so it's presumed that these opinions were shared in passing but possibly weren't addressed directly. And that probably wouldn't surprise a lot of wrestling fans that have consistently been frustrated with how Wyatt has been utilized by the WWE in the past, most notably for the fact that he rarely ever comes out on top in his various rivalries.
In fact, the last time audiences saw Bray Wyatt on television was when he was betrayed by his possessed partner-in-crime Alexa Bliss during his big match at WrestleMania 37 against Randy Orton. Bliss (real name Lexi Kaufman) posted a response to the news of Wyatt's release on Twitter, but then quickly locked down her page soon after. Here's what her message stated:
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' reaction, as well as those of many other WWE stars, proves just how sudden and unexpected Bray Wyatt's release was, and is a sign that the working relationship between Wyatt and the WWE is officially kaput, at least for now. Of course, wrestlers can come and go from the company at a moment's notice, so its possible audiences may see him again in a completely different federation, especially given the amount of talent that the AEW has allegedly gathered in recent weeks.
Monday Night Raw airs on USA on Mondays at 8:00 p.m. ET. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for more details that may emerge on Bray Wyatt, and for more rumors about what's happening for SummerSlam.