WWE usually releases a subset of talent from its roster every year for a variety of reasons such as contract expiry, oversaturation of the card, or sometimes, plainly because things did not work out for said person at the company. However, the wrestling giant announced on Tuesday that Big Cass has had his contract terminated with immediate effect for no apparent reason.
In a brief statement that spanned all of one line, the company wrote on its website: "WWE has come to terms on the release of William Morrissey (Big Cass)."
When stars are usually let go, WWE usually adds in a few cursory sentences thanking the superstar for the work in their company and wishes them the best for future endeavors and, as many pointed out, the lack of any such pleasantries indicate that there was a falling out.
Cass' release seems to have come at the most inopportune time for the 7-foot behemoth, whose star has, in fact, been on the rise lately. As little as two days ago, he was opening the Money in the Bank pay-per-view with a match against crowd-favorite Daniel Bryan.
Though that match would end in a loss, the view backstage was apparently that Cass' physicality and natural in-ring talent meant that it was a matter of when and not if he earned an opportunity at the company's most prestigious prize: the WWE Championship. His performances in the past few months, both on the mic and in the ring, meant that the top brass had high expectations of him, making his surprising exit all the more incomprehensible.
Cass' social media activity similarly did not point towards any trouble brewing behind the scenes. "Been training with the best submission specialist in WWE @DrewGulak. Tonight, I will embarrass Daniel Bryan by making him tap out...or just kick him in the head. Either way, I will prove why I am the BEST wrestler in WWE. BIG man>little man #MITB," he tweeted, just three days ago.
However, reports this past May did indicate that Cass had found himself in hot water with WWE supremo Vince McMahon himself. He had allegedly ignored direct orders for a segment where he was supposed to humiliate a little person acting as then-future opponent Daniel Bryan.
Cass is said to have wanted to beat up the little person and make an example out of him on the show but the request was rejected by the creative team. An appeal to McMahon similarly failed but, instead of heeding orders, he still proceeded to excessively attack the actor at the end of the segment, angering the officials. The issue was thought to have been resolved but it seems that it wasn't.
The superstar will follow in the ignominious footsteps of his former tag team partner Enzo Amore (Eric Arndt). Amore was fired in January and it later emerged that there had been allegations of sexual assault brought against him. Cass' situation is likely to be similarly clarified in the coming days.