As announced last Friday by WWE, the sports-entertainment organization came to terms on the release of Kelly Kelly, ending her six-year run with the company. Her departure had been expected since she decided to take a hiatus in late May.
Those close to the situation thought it was likely her tenure was coming to an end after she was resistant on signing a long-term contract extension and had requested time off from the road. Company officials granted her time off under the belief that she would return full-time. However, those close to her say she wasn’t sure about resuming a full-time schedule and was looking to pursue non-wrestling endeavors.
Her situation is similar to many other talents who have left the company, particularly women, in the past two years. She was forced to reject numerous media offers, either because WWE didn’t want her involved or because WWE has made its product too kid-friendly that companies don’t want to associate with them. The matter is tied to women, because of those limitations.
Since Kelly had already earned her downside guarantee for the year and had no intention on returning full-time, there was no money left for her to earn by not asking for her release. Plus, she wanted to pursue outside opportunities sooner rather than later.
During a advertisement campaign shoot last Thursday for Let if Fly Energy, an energy drink line, she received a text message from Paul “Triple H” Levesque, WWE Executive Vice President, Talent and Live Events. He informed her that by the terms of her contract, she needed to have a calendar that she planned to sell on her official website approved by the company. She had tweeted previews of some risqué lingerie pictures and the company demanded she take them down. She had no intention on calling off the project, which led company officials to cutting ties with her the next day.
Another factor in Kelly’s resistance to remaining in WWE for several more years could be tied to her health since she had been dealing with neck issues from wrestling. WWE officials requested that she see Dr. Joseph Maroon, the company’s medical director. She preferred to be examined by her own doctor. With the accumulated injuries, she wanted to stop wrestling full-time at the age of 25 rather than be physically broken down years later and too old to pursue entertainment opportunities. It is believed that she would have stayed with WWE had they allowed her to make occasional appearances.
WWE did not perceive Kelly as reaching a level known as the “Mick Foley deal,” where a talent is under contract, works occasionally, and is free to pursue outside endeavors. WWE does not want create a precedent where talent have control over what they do, which is an issue currently affecting their relationship with Chris Jericho.
(source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter)