WWE has come to terms on the releases of Jonathan Huber (Luke Harper), Sin Cara and Ryan Parmeter (Konnor) and Eric Thompson (Viktor) of The Ascension. WWE wishes them all the best in their future endeavours.
Social media have become a great way for wrestlers to express their desire to leave a company. Very recently, Oney Lorcan or Randy Orton teased the idea of leaving to receive a new and better contract. When it comes to Luke Harper, Sin Cara or Mike Kanellis, their posts have been the reflection of a real disappointment and desire to go. So it came as no surprise today that WWE granted Sin Cara and Luke Harper’s release requests. The company also announced the release of The Ascension, the team of Konnor and Viktor.
After working for CHIKARA, ROH, EVOLVE and Dragon Gate USA, Haper signed with WWE in 2012. Harper made his television debut on the November 7 episode of NXT as a follower of Bray Wyatt, who introduced Harper as the “first son” of The Wyatt Family. On the May 8 episode of NXT, Harper and Wyatt’s “second son”Rowan defeated Neville and Bo Dallas to win the NXT Tag Team Championship. On the July 8, 2013, episode of RAW, the Wyatt Family made their debut by assaulting Kane. Harper made his WWE in-ring debut on the July 26 episode of SmackDown, where he and Rowan defeated Tons of Funk.
Beginning on September 29, 2014, vignettes were shown of Harper and Rowan being “set free” by Wyatt, marking the dissolution of the Wyatt Family and the transition of its members into singles competition. After a further series of video vignettes aimed at Dolph Ziggler, Harper made his return to TV and was awarded an impromptu match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship against Dolph Ziggler, which, after interference from Seth Rollins, Harper won to capture his first title in WWE.
In early May 2015, Harper revived his alliance with Erick Rowan. After Rowan suffered an injury, Harper reunited with Bray Wyatt at Battleground 2015 by helping him defeat Roman Reigns. Braun Strowman joined Harper and Wyatt as the new third member of the Wyatt Family after SummerSlam. On March 21, 2016, Harper suffered a knee injury during a dark match on Raw, sidelining him for five to six months.
Harper returned to the ring in October at No Mercy, helping Bray Wyatt defeat Randy Orton by distracting Orton. At TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2016, Wyatt and Orton, who had recently joined The Wyatt Family, captured the SmackDown Tag Team Championship, and 3 days later it was announced that Harper had been sanctioned as champion as well, making him eligible to defend the title under the “Freebird Rule”. Haper and Orton issues made him leave the Wyatt Family.
After a few months of matches on his own, he and Rowan returned as The Bludgeon Brothers in 2017. The team won the SmackDown Tag Team Championship at WrestleMania 34 from The Usos. When their reign ended at 135 days, both men had to undergo surgery. On March 9, 2019, Harper returned to in-ring action, only to wrestle bad or dark matches. On April 16, Harper requested his release from WWE, request that was denied. In mid-July, Harper had returned to travelling with the roster as he had been off events since requesting his release. He reformed his team with Rowan until the draft disbanded it. On November 26, he filed a trademark for “Brodie Lee”, his independent wrestling ring name, the sign he would be leaving soon.
Viktor and Konnor are what we can call “WWE babies” as they were trained by the company on FCW and then NXT. The Ascension made their debut on NXT on June 20, 2012, they quickly the most dominant team of the brand. After winning a gauntlet match to determine the number one contenders for the NXT Tag Team Championship, the Ascension defeated the team of Adrian Neville and Corey Graves on the October 2, 2013, edition of NXT to capture the titles. At the NXT TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way PPV, The Ascension lost the titles to Kalisto and Sin Cara, ending their reign at 364 days.
The day after their last match on NXT, in December 2014, vignettes began to air promoting The Ascension’s call-up to the main roster. They were promoted to the main roster on the December 29, 2014 episode of RAW. The team has never been taken seriously on the main roster and so unsuccessful to become Tag Team Champions. Whether on RAW or SmackDown, they have never been able to show how good they could be, like on NXT. Their release happens after nearly 8 months of inactivity.
The veteran Jorge Arias, aka Sin Cara, was hired in 2009 after a successful career in Mexico, with CMLL and Lucha Libre AAA, and in the USA, on CHIKARA and TNA. He signed a developmental deal with WWE following his try out match and started in WWE’s farm league Florida Championship Wrestling where he would spend 3 years. On the August 12 episode of SmackDown, Arias made his WWE debut, taking over the role of Sin Cara. A strange storyline between the real and the impostor Sin Cara, the blue and the black ones, followed.
The feud was cut short when Sin Cara suffered a legit injury at Survivor Series, which required surgery. After some more feuds and a new injury, Sin Cara was sent to NXT, in 2014, where he formed a tag team with Kalisto known as “The Lucha Dragons”. At NXT TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way, Sin Cara and Kalisto defeated The Ascension to win the NXT Tag Team Championship, and Arias’ first title in WWE. They would lose it 4 months later and Sin Cara came back to the main roster. He entered the Intercontinental Championship race, unsuccessfully, and the Tag Team Championship race with Kalisto, again unsuccessfully.
On the October 10, 2016, episode of RAW, it was confirmed that Sin Cara would be competing in the Cruiserweight division. Six months later he was back to SmackDown and started a feud with the United States Champion Baron Corbin. At WrestleMania 34, Sin Cara competed in the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royale, but failed to win. On the May 29 episode of SmackDown Live, Sin Cara tried to reconnect with Andrade “Cien” Almas, only to be blown off.
On August 15, 2018, it was reported that Sin Cara underwent knee surgery. In March 2019, he was cleared to return to in-ring action but only came back to a ring in June. As part of the 2019 draft, Sin Cara was drafted to RAW and restarted his feud with Andrade, where he lost against him on the October 21 and October 28 episodes of RAW. Sin Cara also allied with Carolina to face Andrade’s manager Zelina Vega, but they were defeated by Andrade and Vega on the November 4 episode of RAW.
On November 11, Arias requested his release from WWE, citing that while grateful about the opportunities that WWE gave him, he felt unappreciated and wanted to expand his career elsewhere. He is said to want to join his good friend Alberto Del Rio’s new wrestling and MMA promotions, Nación Lucha Libre and Combate Americas, in Mexico.
All pics courtesy of WWE