WWE don't partake in the same old spring cleaning routine they used to these days, and there's more scope than ever for older workers to have a place beyond active wrestling. Just look at Matt Hardy for proof of that; he's signed on to appear in a new Network show, and recent comments on Jim Ross' podcast suggest talk of Matt's permanent retirement may be premature.
In this context then, the phrase "leave WWE" doesn't necessarily mean cut ties with the company completely, although there are those who surely will in 2019.
Of the 10 acts examined here, three are expected to follow Hardy's example and call time on their in-ring careers next year. The remaining seven are a mixed bag of those who will be wished well in their future endeavours and others who may instigate that process themselves before WWE have the chance.
Some internally may view the success of trailblazers like Cody Rhodes as evidence there's life outside the promotion, and they might be willing to take a similar leap of faith. Then, there's a restless 'Beast' who has competitive juices flowing through him as he approaches his mid-40s...
Freelance journalist, podcasting loony, lifelong wrestling fan and musician (drums are people too), who has a vague resemblance to a loudmouth announcer in Defiant Wrestling. Also a huge, HUGE fan of Halloween and Lucky Charms. Huge.