Tye Dillinger Released from WWE Contract After Requesting to Leave Company

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 22, 2019

Photo credit: WWE.com.

WWE granted Tye Dillinger his release from the company Friday.

A statement on WWE.com read, "WWE has come to terms on the release of Ron Arneill (Tye Dillinger)." Dillinger's release came on the same day that WWE parted ways with 205 Live star Hideo Itami as well.

On Wednesday, Dillinger tweeted a statement in which he revealed that he had requested his release from WWE after spending the past five-and-a-half years with the promotion:

The 38-year-old had been serving as a low- to mid-card Superstar on the SmackDown Live brand and had recently returned to action at live events after missing four months with a hand injury.

With his release, Dillinger's second stint with WWE has officially come to an end. The St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, native had previously signed a developmental contract with WWE in 2006. He was called up to the main roster in 2008 and wrestled under the name Gavin Spears as part of the ECW brand until his release in 2009.

Dillinger signed with WWE again in 2013 and spent over three years in NXT. He developed the "Perfect 10" gimmick, which got him over with the NXT viewing audience and led to his appearance in the 2017 Royal Rumble match as the No. 10 entrant.

He was soon called up to the main roster on a full-time basis as part of SmackDown Live, but he struggled to become a key member of the roster. Aside from a couple of United States Championship opportunities, Dillinger was relegated to putting over bigger stars on the blue brand and working live events.

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After Dillinger tweeted about his release request, All Elite Wrestling Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes responded with the following:

Rhodes and Dillinger are friends dating back to their time together in WWE's developmental system. As a tag team, Rhodes and Dillinger twice won the OVW Southern Tag Team Championships.

With Dillinger now available on the free-agent market, there will be plenty of speculation regarding him joining AEW in the near future.

Double or Nothing—the first official pay-per-view under the AEW umbrella—is set to take place on May 25 in Las Vegas, meaning that even if there was a 90-day no-compete clause in Dillinger's contract as is customary for WWE, he would be eligible to appear on that show.

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