A disposable loading unit for operable attachment to a surgical stapling apparatus. The disposable loading unit may have a carrier that supports a staple cartridge and an anvil assembly that is movable coupled to the carrier. The various embodiments may further have an axial drive assembly that is configured to impart a closing motion to the anvil assembly and also supports a cutting blade thereon. The axial drive assembly is configured to receive firing motions and retraction motions from the surgical stapling apparatus. Various embodiments have an anvil release assembly that enables the anvil assembly to be released from a clamping orientation in the event that the cutting blade becomes jammed during operation.