Thanks everyone for the advice. The solution was, in fact, removing the ceiling from the cabinet underneath. I was able to stick my fingers into the circular cord hole and give it a good yank and then use a bent hook to pull around the edges to get it down. It was just stapled in.
2 screws on each side, and the TV is now out!
I'm glad I didn't try to cut it. The damn straps were *glued* to the back of the TV. There was certainly no removing it from the top.
Now I will just get a nice piece of PVC and cut it to fit where the TV was and cover up the strap holes.
Much appreciated. This was my first post here and y'all seem very helpful, I can't wait to possibly give back someday in relation to something I know about.