It was unprecedented move for WWE to announce the departure of a top performer so far in advance. The only possible comparison would be CM Punk in 2011, although that only became apparent around a month or so before his contract was set to expire.
On Wednesday’s Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer described the backstage reaction to the announcement. Meltzer himself believes that the situation is legitimate, although there are some within WWE that believe it’s a work.
Meltzer confirmed that some talent were aware of the situation prior to Monday’s RAW. However, most were kept in the dark until it was announced on Tuesday. It was also noted that most of the creative team were unaware that Ambrose would not be renewing his contract.
As the Ambrose situation was unfolding on Tuesday, PWInsider reported that Ambrose declined a 5-year deal deal worth over a million dollars a year. Upon asking around in WWE, the details of their offer to Ambrose surprised a lot of people.