Before Harper requested his contractual release from WWE, the creative team had plans for him to feud with Sami Zayn.
This is according to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, who said the proposed feud has been scrapped altogether. There’s no word on why it got canceled.
Harper underwent wrist surgery last October, which put him on the shelf until March. After competing at a few house shows, he returned to television at WrestleMania 35 as an entrant in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Harper also defeated NXT Superstar Dominik Dijakovic the day before at WrestleMania Axxess. Their match aired on the WWE Network special WWE Worlds Collide, which featured bouts between current NXT Superstars and NXT alumni.
On April 16, Harper posted a statement on Twitter and Instagram saying he requested to be released from his WWE contract.
“As of this evening, I have requested a release from WWE. The past 6 years have been a simply, amazing journey around the world and back with lifelong friends and family. I am proud of it all and proud to say I shared the ring with my co workers.”
“This decision, as difficult as it was, feels right for myself and WWE. My goal in the future is to continue to grow as a performer and person and continue to make my family proud.
“Thank you. From the top to the bottom of WWE. Thank you to the fans for your undying support. Thank you everyone.”
— Luke Harper of WWE (@LukeHarperWWE) April 16, 2019
Rather than terminating his deal, though, WWE triggered a five-month extension. According to Meltzer, WWE added the time he missed due to injury. Unless the company allows him to leave earlier, Harper will be with WWE until April 2020.