Tye Dillinger announced Wednesday he has asked for his release from the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) after just over five years with the promotion. He released a statement via his official Twitter account and immediately there were questions about All Elite Wrestling (AEW) becoming his next destination.

Dillinger, real name Ronald Arneill, revealed it was on Wednesday evening that he requested his release from the company. He admitted his decision to leave was a hard one, but it had to be done as he was keen to grow further as a performer.

"Before rumors begin to spread, let me set things straight ahead of time: This evening, I requested my release from WWE," Dillinger said in a statement released on Twitter. "In the past 5 and a half years with them, I have seen and done some wonderful things. Things I am very proud of and will never forget. I have met and have worked with unquestionably, some of the greatest talent on this earth and the pleasure has been all mine.”

"I feel at this time this decision, as extremely difficult as it was, is what is best for myself and WWE. I wish to continue to grow as a performer and offer those paying hard earned money to watch a show I'm performing on, a little more of myself," the statement continued. "To the male and female locker rooms, coaches and producers, to the production/ring crew, all the way up to the very top of WWE and most of all the fans... I wish you all the very best and thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything."

Dillinger spent two separate stints with the WWE, with the latest one starting in 2013 when he reported to the NXT brand. He appeared in the 2017 Royal Rumble match and was scheduled to again appear in 2018 but was taken out backstage by Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, who were on a vengeance path after being excluded from the pay-per-view’s main event.

The 38-year-old was also given United States title opportunities against AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura in 2018 and his match against the latter in September was his last televised performance. He struggled with injury in October and then returned to take part in a handful of live events.

Dillinger was not part of the main storyline in WWE, but if he joins AEW, who is making waves in the pro-wrestling scene, it will be another coup for the newly emerged promotion. They have emerged as a serious threat to WWE’s domination after signing the likes of Chris Jericho, the Young Bucks, and Kenny Omega.

Moreover, there are a number of WWE superstars currently reaching the end of their contracts looking toward AEW as an option. The new promotion, backed by billionaire Shahid Khan and son Tony, are said to be willing to match the lucrative deals offered by WWE.

The speculation about Dillinger’s potential move to AEW got some legs when Cody Rhodes – a close friend and one of the executive vice-presidents of the new promotion – wished him well for the next chapter of his life.

“Fearless. I can’t wait to see what you do next. I wish you all the happiness in the world old friend,” Rhodes wrote in reply to Dillinger’s statement. “Don’t settle.”