The WWE release train refused to stop rolling in 2021, and it doesn’t appear to be running short on steam this year either. WWE kicked off the year by letting go of a number of its backstage staff in NXT. That was followed up by Mustafa Ali requesting his release, although the former Retribution leader doesn’t appear to have been granted his request at the time of this posting.
According to PWInsider, Ali isn’t the only Superstar waiting for WWE to grant a release request. The site has confirmed with multiple sources that Brian Kendrick asked to be released as far back as six weeks ago but is yet to be told he is free to leave. Kendrick hasn’t wrestled on WWE TV since October 2020 and even said he had retired from in-ring competition.
Kendrick has remained busy behind the scenes though, working with talent in NXT and on 205 Live. He even briefly returned to TV recently as a part of an angle involving NXT 2.0 stars Joe Gacy and Harland. Kendrick was thrown down the stairs during one of Harland’s fits of rage. That was supposed to lead to a match between the two, but it never came to fruition.
The timing of the angle and Kendrick’s reported release request is certainly very interesting. What’s unclear is when exactly Kendrick requested his release, and therefore what triggered it. Whether WWE knew he was unhappy with his lot in the company and started up an angle in an attempt to appease him, or if the angle was WWE’s idea and his involvement is what led Kendrick to ask if he could leave the company.