It's Saturday night, so you know The Chadster was having fun because The Chadster loves to partay. The last thing I expected was to log on and see a major news story happened in the world of professional wrestling while I was sitting in my garage drinking Mike's Hard Lemonade. That's exactly what happened, though, because get this: Drew Gulak has been released from his WWE contract.
Gulak wrestled Daniel Bryan in a quarterfinal match for the Intercontinental Championship tournament on Friday Night Smackdown, and the announcers and a post-match interview made it seem like Gulak's story wasn't over after his loss.
However, just a day later, Drew Gulak is a free man, though the exact details of his release are not totally clear. Apparently, Gulak was moved to the alumni section on WWE.com today, and soon after, people noticed, Ryan Satin, who plays a journalist on TV for WWE Backstage, confirmed the news from "sources" at his own employer that Gulak was released. However, Mike Johnson at PWInsider soon came out with a different and more plausible story. Johnson wrote:
We have confirmed with multiple sources today that Gulak's WWE contract expired after last night's Smackdown was taped. We are told the two sides had been discussing a new deal, but had not yet come to terms on the deal before Gulak's existing deal expired. This shockingly places Gulak on the open market just hours after one of his best WWE performances to date as he would have no 90-day non-compete as WWE would not be paying him going forward, which means he can appear and wrestle anywhere immediately.
After Johnson's report came out, Satin updated his report to acknowledge Gulak was not fired. That certainly makes more sense in the context of last night's match and the aftermath. In retrospect, while WWE may have expected to come to an agreement, it sure looks like Gulak and Bryan may have known this was the end. Now, Drew Gulak is a free agent, and just in time for AEW Double or Nothing too.