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DeMarco: Did Age Impact Recent WWE Releases?

Greg DeMarco engages in crack research to identify a trend among those stars WWE did release, and those they didn’t release. Was age a factor?

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WWE Luke Harper

Greg DeMarco engages in crack research to identify a trend among those stars WWE did release, and those they didn’t release. Was age a factor?

I’m, not sure if you heard (you heard, I know), but WWE recently released Luke Harper, Sin Cara, and both members of The Ascension (you might not have known those last two still worked for WWE, though). The first two requested their releases earlier this year, and they were finally granted this week.

Sitting on the outside of that we have Mike Kanellis and The Revival, along with Oney Lorcan. Now we’re taking a (dangerous) leap of faith and assuming The Revival really requested their releases, since they didn’t tell us they did on social media (Kanellis and Lorcan did). But for the purposes of this exercise, we are going to assume that they did, because we need enough names to develop a pattern.

There are many different factors that go into a release being granted, but on the most recent edition of Greg DeMarco Show, myself, Miranda Morales, and Patrick O’Dowd stumbled upon something. Take a look:

Stars Released

  • Luke Harper – 39 years old
  • Sin Cara – 42 years old
  • The Ascension’s Konnor – 39 years old
  • The Ascension’s Viktor – 39 years old

Stars Not Released

  • Mike Kanellis – 34 years old
  • Oney Lorcan – 33 years old
  • Scott Dawson – 35 years old
  • Dash Wilder – 32 years old

It doesn’t take an actuary (Google it, it’s basically a genius) to see what I (not an actuary) am seeing here: the stars closer to (or over) 40 were released, and those 35 and under were retained.

WWE booking is cyclical, something it also doesn’t take a genius to figure out. This is especially prevalent in the mid-card, a place everyone on this list essentially lives. To be successful in the WWE mid-card, you need to be able to emotionally handle the booking cycle, always ready to jump in when your number is called, and hope you can make the most of the situation (aka, hope you can “Jinder it”).

This is important because those who are on the older end of the spectrum may not be a viable option to WWE if and when the booking cycle favors them again. Non-coincidentally (at least in my opinion), those folks were also the ones granted their releases. I know it seems blasphemous for me, someone writing about the product online, to say Luke Harper might not be a viable option at some point soon, but he is 39, and that doesn’t help him in terms of having a sustainable run at or near the top of the card. I know we all love to toss out the name AJ Styles (he’s 42, a fact Conrad Thompson reminds us of as much as Jim Ross reminds us that Dr. Britt Baker is a real-life dentist), but that’s the exception to the rule. It’s still an early 30’s WWE.

Now Oney Lorcan revealed he’s signed a new multi-year WWE contract, and Mike Kanellis hasn’t hit the “release me” campaign trail recently. The Revival are constantly cycled back into the rotation, proving they are the best tag team in the world at least once a month. Each is younger, and can be a viable option should the booking cycle spin in their favor.

I’m not calling WWE ageist in the least, but I think that–from a business standpoint–they see age as a factor in deciding to give someone their release when requested.


Pro wrestling, along with sports entertainment, is a fun ride. Enjoy it! Follow me on social media @ChairshotGreg and drop me a line at gregdemarco@thechairshot.com.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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