A new report has revealed that Candice LeRae has officially departed WWE and the former NXT star is a free agent effective immediately.
Earlier this year there was speculation that Candice LeRae’s WWE contract would be extended due to the time she has taken off for injuries and her recent maternity leave.
However, this appears not to have been the case as Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful has confirmed that the former NXT Women’s Tag Team Champion has officially parted ways with the company after five years.
The report also notes that, as her contract expired rather than her being released, there is not a no-compete clause so LeRae is now a free agent.
Fightful Select has confirmed that Candice LeRae's WWE contract has expired, and she's now a free agent.
— Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com (@SeanRossSapp) May 6, 2022
Candice LeRae and her husband, Johnny Gargano welcomed their first child, Quill, into the world on February 17th, 2022. Gargano is also a free agent as he allowed his WWE contract to expire three days after his last match on the December 7th edition of NXT 2.0. The former NXT Champion has since revealed that he had decided to let his contract expire a year in advance as he wanted to take time to concentrate on parenting.
Candice LeRae made her WWE debut in May 2016 when she took part in a Battle Royal to determine the number 1 contender to then-NXT Women’s Champion Asuka’s title. She was also part of that year’s Mae Young Classic tournament and reached the Quarter Finals before being eliminated by Shayna Baszler.
LeRae officially signed with the company in January 2018 and spent the next four years as part of the NXT roster, first assisting Gargano in his feud against Andrade by countering interference from Zelina Vega. Following this, she went on to compete against the likes of Bianca Belair, Nikki Cross, and Kairi Sane and received several shots at the NXT Women’s Championship, albeit unsuccessfully.
In 2020, LeRae and Gargano turned heel and formed The Way with Indi Hartwell and Austin Theory. During her time in the group, she and Hartwell won the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships.
Candice LeRae had her final match in NXT at The Great American Bash on July 7th 2021 which saw she and Hartwell lose their titles to Io Shirai and Zoey Stark. LeRae remained as an onscreen character for several weeks before going on maternity leave.