FTR left WWE as the company granted their releases after nearly a year of trying to get out of their deals.
WWE went through a massive round of cuts on April 15th when the novel coronavirus pandemic swept the country and impacted the company’s bottom line. They cut some high-dollar contracts during those releases, but FTR was already gone.
It was noted by Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio that FTR left “a lot of money on the table” with WWE when they decided to get their releases instead. “Of course, they might have got cut in April because if they would have signed for that much money it would have ended up the same way.”
It’s unclear if FTR would have been released on April 15th along with the Good Brothers, Rusev, and so many others. The Top Guys were already out of the company by then, but it’s likely since the two would have been under bigger deals.
FTR is obviously happy with their decision to cut ties with WWE and venture out on their own. It didn’t take them very long at all to find a new pro wrestling home in AEW.