WWE confirmed on Sunday the release of four underutilized wrestlers of which two have in recent months publicly requested to be let go from their contracts.

Announced on the company’s website, WWE confirmed that they have parted ways with Luke Harper, Sin Cara, and Konnor and Viktor of The Ascension tag team. The former two had in the past announced their requests for release on Twitter. All have been considered by fans to be underused.

These departures come after recent behind-the-scenes rumors that the company would not be granting releases to unhappy talent, lest they get snatched up and turned into major stars by WWE’s major new competitor, All-Elite Wrestling. However, sources have told WrestlingNews.com that these latest releases were part of a new financial strategy. By releasing lower-card talent that the company had little use for, it reportedly freed up money that could be used to keep bigger stars from leaving by offering bigger salaries.

It has also recently been rumored that some within the company have been pushing for a change in policy about granting releases. Notably, Triple H is said to have convinced Vince McMahon to release Goldust (Dustin Rhodes) from his contract earlier in the year.

Harper, real name Jonathan Huber, debuted with the company in 2012 and went on win the Intercontinental Championship, the NXT Tag Team Championships, and the SmackDown Tag Team Championships twice. He was initially a part of Bray Wyatt’s “Wyatt Family” faction alongside Erick Rowan. He would often be paired with Rowan for the duration of his WWE tenure, including a reign as “The Bludgeon Brothers” in 2018.

Jorge Arias, known as “Hunico” before joining WWE in 2011, was the second performer to don the Sin Cara masked luchador persona, replacing the injury-prone Carístico. Arias notched a brief NXT Tag Team title reign as part of the Lucha Dragons with Kalisto but failed to accomplish much else during his tenure with WWE. His final years were marked by extended hiatuses due to injury.

Konnor and Viktor of the Ascension, real names Connor O’Brian and Rick Victor, were most prominent in 2013-14 as dominant tag team champions in NXT, where they still hold the accolade for the longest single reign with the titles. The group quickly lost steam after their move to the main roster, getting beaten down by a group of beloved older tag teams on a January 2015 episode of “Raw.” The group never gained significant momentum afterward and became unfortunate fixtures of WWE’s lower card.

WWE The WWE logo hangs on a wall at a media conference announcing the all-star lineup of WWE WrestleMania XIX at ESPN Zone in Times Square in New York City, March 18, 2003. Photo: Mark Mainz/Getty Images