This past Saturday night, Eric Young returned to pro wrestling when he appeared at Impact Slammiversary. Young has a long and storied career with Impact, and it is no surprise that if he’s a free agent, he pops back up in the promotion. What may be a bit of a surprise is the fact that he is a free agent, as many have been under the belief that he has been contracted to WWE.
Fightful reports that Young requested his release from WWE in April 2023, just a few months after re-signing with the promotion as a performer after being courted by Paul “Triple H” Levesque. The reason behind his request is said to be the return of Vince McMahon to the WWE fold following his temporary retirement amid a slew of allegations. Once Young saw the announcement that Endeavor was acquiring the majority ownership of WWE and that McMahon would return to an executive role, he decided he’d rather walk away.
Young was granted his release and given a 90-day non-compete that has, obviously, expired. Some of the issues that the former Sanity member had with McMahon returning to the WWE mix were the effect it had on morale, along with his own creative and personal issues with the eccentric billionaire. Apparently, there were creative plans in place for Young following WrestleMania, but no details were given regarding what those were.
This is the only known case of a signed WWE talent asking for their release due to McMahon’s return. The dramatic difference in Young’s presentation under Levesque and McMahon is worth noting. In NXT, under Levesque’s creative leadership, Young became Tag Team Champion alongside Sanity’s Alexander Wolfe and was one of the hottest acts for the gold and black brand. Once the faction was called up to WWE’s main roster, under McMahon’s creative leadership, they were losing handicap tables matches to The Miz within a year and were broken up.
Earlier this morning, Young took to Twitter and noted he had made a “hard choice,” but in his mind, it was “the right one,” seeming to confirm it was his call to leave WWE and return to Impact.
“This felt good!” he exclaimed. “This felt right! I made a hard choice and there is no doubt in my mind it was the right one!”