On October 14, 2019, Mike Kanellis asked for his release from the WWE. Kanellis said, “Today I asked for my release from WWE. I want to thank everyone in the company who has helped me out and who I have shared a locker room with. I love you all. I’ve been with the company for almost three years and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity. However it is time for me to move on. I am only 34 years old and feel I have way to (sic) much left in the tank.”
Before posting this request, the last appearance of Kanellis was a 19-second loss against Chad Gable on the September 24, 2019 episode of SmackDown Live. This was after a one minute and five second loss against Ricochet at the September 16 episode of Raw, and a 30-second loss against the returning Rusev right before.
Despite a four-month absence, WWE does not seem like they are going to release Kanellis anytime soon. In fact, Kanellis is now competing in a team with former NXT Cruiserweight Champion Tony Nese. Wrestling News has also reported that WWE officials were pleased with the showing of this team.
Kanellis has still not made a television appearance since the September squash from Gable on SmackDown Live. However, he could be making a return to NXT with Nese in the coming weeks.
— Sammy Sizemore (@Sammystalksyou) February 1, 2020
Their debut match as a tag was on January 17, losing to the duo of Isaiah “Swerve” Scott and KUSHIDA. However, they picked up a win against Shane Thorne & Daniel Vidot.
Although Kanellis did not receive his requested release, WWE could finally be using him in a favorable matter, which is something that has not been consistent since making his television debut in 2017. In fact, Kanellis lost his second match, which was against Sami Zayn at the 2017 Battleground pay-per-view.
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