WWE releases former world champion Bray Wyatt

WWE announced the release of longtime pro wrestler Bray Wyatt on Saturday, who excelled in the organization as the leader of the Wyatt Family and as “The Fiend.”

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Wyatt, 34, whose real name is Windham Lawrence Rotunda, is the son of former WCW and WWE star Mike Rotunda and the nephew of Barry Windham, CBS Sports reported.

He was a two-time Universal title winner and also won the promotion’s WWE title once.

Wyatt signed a developmental contract with WWE in 2009 and was part of the promotion’s main lineup since 2010, according to Bleacher Report. He started as Husky Harris in NXT and then joined the WWE developmental program, Florida Championship Wrestling, to fine-tune his character, according to Bleacher Report.

The Wyatt Family featured Wyatt as the leader of a Southern swamp cult that featured Luke Harper, Erik Rowan and, later, Braun Strowman, CBS Sports reported. The group was a top draw in NXT and joined the WWE’s main roster on 2013, the website reported.

Wyatt had not appeared on WWE programming since the night after WrestleMania 37 in April. At WrestleMania, Wyatt lost to Randy Orton when he was distracted by Alexa Bliss, CBS Sports reported.

Bliss wrote on her protected Twitter account, “I really am at a loss for words. … thank you so much Windham for everything you’ve done for this company. The most fun I’ve had is working with you. Such an amazing talent and the most kind person. I’m just in shock.”

Other wrestlers released since WrestleMania include Strowman, Aleister Black, Mickie James and The IIconics, according to Bleacher Report.

Strowman, whose real name is Adam Scherr, also posted on Twitter, writing, “Brother, I’m waiting.”

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