WWE: Bray Wyatt Released Amid Lengthy Hiatus

Bray Wyatt's WWE run is over. WWE released the wrestler, whose real name is Windham Lawrence Rotunda, on Saturday morning. No details were shared around why Wyatt was cut from the WWE roster. The company statement simply said, "WWE has come to terms on the release of Bray Wyatt. We wish him the best in all his future endeavors."

Wyatt was a staple on WWE's television shows for years, as both the Wyatt character and its alter ego The Fiend. However, he has been on hiatus since the Raw episode after WrestleMania that aired on April 12. There have been rumblings that he was ready to return to the ring, but there was no indication on when WWE's creative team would have him worked back into storylines.

Wyatt spent 12 years in WWE, starting in their developmental system in 2009. He soon moved up the ranks under the ring name Husky Harris, joining the main roster as part of the Nexus faction. In 2012, he debuted the Bray Wyatt character alongside a stable of his own, The Wyatt Family. Erick Rowan (Joseph Ruud) and Luke Harper (Jonathan Huber) were also members of the group, and Braun Stowman (Adam Scherr) and Randy Orton would join in later iterations.

WWE released Harper in December 2019, and he would go on to perform as Brodie Lee in All Elite Wrestling until his death in December 2020. WWE parted ways with Rowan in April 2020 due to pandemic budgets cuts. Preceding Wyatt as the most surprising WWE release of 2021, Strowman was cut from the roster on June 2. That means Orton, a 21-year WWE veteran, is the only Wyatt Family member remaining in the company.

There was no clear reason why Wyatt was taken off TV after WrestleMania, with most presuming it was done to give Wyatt a rest physically/mentally, all while giving his character a break creatively. He had teased returns, such as in a June 5 tweet about SummerSlam. On July 15, he had replied to a fan on Twitter, indicating he has missed performing.

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Since his release, Wyatt has not released a statement. No further details have emerged in wrestling trades, either. Alexa Bliss, whose current gimmick stems from her recent run alongside Wyatt, has spoken out, saying she is "in shock" over the news. "I really am at a loss for words," Bliss, whose real name is Alexis Joann Louise Kaufman, wrote. "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."