Two weeks ago, Luke Harper announced via Twitter that he had requested his release from WWE, and according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, it was actually Vince McMahon himself who informed the former Intercontinental Champion that he would not be granting that request.
Apparently Harper had pitched several ideas for his return during the months that he was out with injury, and every single one of them was rejected. Finally, after being cleared for over two months and not being brought back to television, to the point where he talked about having conversations with creative writers who didn’t even know he was cleared, he returned to the ring for a match at Axxess.
The Observer noted that it was McMahon who realized Harper wasn’t into the WrestleMania battle royale, asked why he wasn’t booked, and had him put in the match. There were then plans to involve him in a program with Sami Zayn after WrestleMania, which we already reported, but those were scrapped. Allegedly Braun Strowman forgot his spots during the battle royal which resulted in some bad-looking spots for several people, and whether related or not, Harper was pulled from the Zayn program the next night before Raw.
Harper was brought back before an episode of Smackdown to work a dark match with EC3 as WWE originally wanted to repackage him with with Drake Maverick (the two had tremendous chemistry in Impact Wrestling) but McMahon reported hated the match, which is why the former Wyatt Family member didn’t find a home in the Superstar Shake-Up. At that point, Harper asked for his release from the company, and was rejected.