Here is some shocking news from WWE, as the organization has gone separate ways with more than Three-Dozen individuals from their workforce, including superstars, commentators, referees, producers, and other backstage workers.
These releases came shortly after a conference call from CEO Vince McMahon, where he discussed cutting and furloughing talent to save money during the ongoing Global Situation.
In a statement from the company, these releases were described as part of “short-term cost reductions,”, which includes: Reducing executive and board member compensation Decreasing operating expenses Cutting talent expenses.
The statement added:
Given the uncertainty of the situation, the Company also identified headcount reductions and made the decision to furlough a portion of its workforce effective immediately. The decision to furlough versus permanently reduce headcount reflects the fact that the Company currently believes the furlough will be temporary in nature.
The list of wrestlers who have been released includes Rusev, who hasn’t been seen on months after negotiations regarding his contract, The OC, Drake Maverick, Heath Slater-who worked for the company for 16 years, EC3, Rowan, Eric Young, and Sarah Logan, who appeared as recently as this past Monday’s edition of RAW.
It’s very interesting to see The OC–Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson be released, as they were recently involved in the critically-acclaimed Boneyard match between Aj Styles vs Undertaker from WrestleMania 36.
Maverick, who entertained fans for months with his hilarious shenanigans over the 24/7 title, fought back tears in a video, as he confirmed that he will still be competing in the interim NXT Cruiserweight champion tournament.
As for EC3, it didn’t take long for the former Derrick Bateman to take to Twitter to cut a promo on the situation, complete with a new haircut, where he sent a warning to the entire wrestling world.
No Way Jose, both Mike and Maria Kanellis, The Colons, Curt Hawkins, Lio Rush, and Zack Ryder have also been released from the company, In addition to these Superstars, WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle was also released, which came as a huge shock given his status as one of the greatest of all time.
After retiring from the ring at WrestleMania 35, Angle took his knowledge of wrestling backstage as a producer, with his final appearance on RAW being on August 5th last year, where he was attacked by the Fiend in his home town.
On Twitter, the Former Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist tweeted out his thoughts on the situation, saying:
I wanted 2 say thank you to the WWE for the time I spent there. I made many new friends and had the opportunity to work with so many talented people. To the Superstars, continue to entertain the WWE Universe as well as you possibly can. They’re the best fans in the world. #itstrue
205 Live commentator Aiden English has also been released, as has veteran referee Mike Chioda, who started working for the then- WWF back in the 1980s.
From NXT, Deonna Purrazzo has been let go from the company, and she has been joined by German-born Superstar Aleksander Jaksic, MJ Jenkins, and Josiah Williams.
If there is a silver lining to today’s events, it’s that WWE will be paying those released for 30 days after their departure, and they are free to do whatever they like, instead of having to wait on a 90-day non-compete clause.
WWE writer Andrea Listenberger confirmed that she too had been released, and fans will know her best for being the creative force behind the recent storyline between Otis and Mandy Rose.
Apart from these, many backstage members also have been removed from their contracts, now only time will tell whether the decision of WWE is right.