Sunday was a pretty dramatic day in the WWE Universe. Not only did we see Extreme Rules play out in Newark, New Jersey, but, before the pay-per-view took place, Cody Rhodes confirmed he had been released by the WWE.
The news came two days after the now ex-WWE Superstar had revealed on Twitter that he had asked for his release from the organisation. Nevertheless, after a decade in the WWE, Rhodes' exit is still something of a shock.
One man who can identify with his situation is Wade Barrett, having himself left the company this month. Taking to social media on Sunday evening, the British wrestler credited Rhodes for having the 'balls' to walk away.
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Barrett, who's real name is Stuart, officially left the WWE on May 6 alongside six other wrestlers. It brought to an end his own decade-long association with the organisation.
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Unlike the other names let go by the company at the start of the month, however, his exit came after coming to an agreement with WWE to part ways a month before his contract was officially set to expire.
It is perhaps no surprise then that Barrett has been quick to take his hat off to a friend and fellow wrestler who has also taken things into his own hands, rather than leaving himself at the mercy of the WWE hierarchy.
While both wrestlers have left the door open to a WWE return when announcing their respective exits, they also likely share a frustration with how the company's creative team used their characters in recent years.
Rhodes, in an official statement discussing his release, had some stern words for WWE creative, while, in many WWE fans' eyes, Barrett was misused by the powers that be in the latter stages of his WWE career.
Although neither Superstar could be said to be at the height of their powers when deciding to step away from the squared circle, knowing that neither of them will be appearing at any shows in the near future will still take some getting used to for the WWE Universe.
Rhodes' departure does, though, create space on the main roster for the increasing number of young, up-and-coming wrestlers trying to find their place in the organisation.
With the WWE as a whole seemingly moving towards a focus on the next generation of Superstars, maybe people like Rhodes and Barrett have got out at the right time. Perhaps most importantly, they've done it on their own terms.
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