Image: WWE

A year full of surprising WWE cuts continued Saturday as former WWE Champion “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt was released.

WWE initially announced the release on Twitter, but then deleted the tweet. A short time later, they tweeted the news again.

Dave Meltzer reported that Wyatt was told by John Laurinaitis that his release was due to budget cuts. He was preparing to return in August and was booked on some shows.

Wyatt made his final appearance as part of a Firefly Fun House segment on the post-WrestleMania Raw in April. At WrestleMania, Randy Orton defeated him in his first match back after Orton lit him on fire at last December’s TLC. Wyatt (Windham Rotunda) was distracted by Alexa Bliss who, after being aligned with Wyatt in a storyline, said she no longer needed him.

The 34-year-old had been in the WWE system since 2009. The son of Mike Rotunda, he first came to prominence as Husky Harris in NXT and was part of The Nexus angle in WWE. He was sent back to then-FCW and eventually rebranded himself as Wyatt, a charismatic cult-like leader of the Wyatt Family. He, Erick Rowan and Luke Harper were eventually called up to the main roster in 2013. In 2019, Wyatt debuted The Fiend character.

In his run, Wyatt held the WWE title once, the Universal title twice, and both the Raw and SmackDown Tag Team titles once.

He is married to WWE ring announcer JoJo Offerman and the couple have two children together. His brother, Bo Dallas, was also released earlier this year.