This year has been so full of up & downs when it comes to WWE and wrestling news that Simon Miller from WhatCulture better do a year in review segment.
Nonetheless, if he were going to, this bit of news would get the “golden down” for sure. It saddens me to report that WWE has just released 18 wrestlers.
For many of us, this is too reminiscent of the dreaded cut day in April 2020.
Where Does WWE Go From Here?
Fightful provided a very informative breakdown of exactly who was released and some of their accomplishments or moments of note leading up to the egregious cuts.
- – Scarlett: Also known as Scarlett Bordeaux. Signed with the promotion in November 2019. Was aligned with Karrion Kross on NXT, but did not manage him as he moved to the main roster.
- – Franky Monet: The former Taya Valkyrie. Signed with WWE in February 2021. Debuted in NXT in April. Challenged for the NXT Women’s Championship on the September 28 episode of NXT. Last wrestled on the October 5 episode of NXT, losing to Cora Jade.
- – Ember Moon: Signed with WWE in September 2015. Former NXT Women’s Champion and NXT Women’s Tag Team Champion. Last wrestled on the October 5 episode of NXT, losing to Mandy Rose.
- – Oney Lorcan: Signed with the promotion in September 2015. Former NXT Tag Team Champion. Last wrestled on the September 28 episode of NXT, losing to Xyon Quinn.
- – B-Fab: Signed with WWE in August 2019. Last appeared on the October 29 episode of WWE SmackDown in a backstage segment with Hit Row and New Day.
- – Jessi Kamea: Signed with the promotion in 2017. Last wrestled on the August 24 episode of NXT, losing to Raquel Gonzalez.
- – Zayda Ramier: Signed in 2021. Last wrestled on the June 1 episode of NXT teaming with Zoey Stark against The Way.
- – Trey Baxter: Formerly Blake Christian. Signed with the promotion in October 2020. Last wrestled on the October 8 episode of 205 Live losing to Grayson Waller.
- – Lince Dorado: Signed with WWE in 2016 as part of the Cruiserweight Classic. Last wrestled on the September 23rd episode of WWE Main Event in a loss to Cedric Alexander.
- – Gran Metalik: Signed with WWE in 2016 as part of the Cruiserweight Classic. Recently asked for his release. Last wrestled on the September 16 episode of WWE Main Event teaming with Lince Dorado in a loss to Humberto Carrillo & Angel Garza.
- – Katrina Cortez: Signed with the promotion in August 2019. Made appearances on WWE Raw as Carolina in a team with Sin Cara. Last wrestled on the October 29 episode of 205 Live in a loss to Sarray.
- – Jeet Rama: Signed with WWE in June 2015. Last wrestled on the November 2 episode of NXT in a loss to Solo Sikoa.
- – Keith Lee: Signed in 2018. Former NXT Champion and NXT North American Champion. Recently rebranded as “Bearcat” Keith Lee on WWE Raw.
- – Eva Marie: Returned to WWE in October 2020 with her debut coming in June. Last wrestled on the September 20 episode of WWE Raw in a loss to Doudrop.
- – Nia Jax: Signed in 2014. Former Raw Women’s Champion and WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion. Last wrestled on the September 20 episode of WWE Raw where she was taken out by Shayna Baszler and set to miss “an undisclosed amount of time.”
- – Mia Yim: Signed with WWE in 2018. Participated in both Mae Young Classic tournaments. Last wrestled on the December 31 episode of WWE Main Event where she lost to Nikki Cross.
- – Harry Smith: Returned to WWE in July. Teamed with Austin Theory to defeat Odyssey Jones & Xyon Quinn in a WWE SmackDown dark match. Didn’t re-debut on WWE television.
It’s no secret that WWE had a bloated roster. The writing was on the wall, you can’t blame anyone else for having a roster the size of a small army. I will say that it is disturbing, the fact that there have been somewhere up to 70 talents being released over the past year alone is saying something. It is more than the actual roster in the 90’s. The main takeaway is that the creative departmental arm seems to be detached from the corporate departmental arm.
This recent release will have me scratching my head for a while. You have people that haven’t been on any of the brands for quite some time, so they made sense but what about people like B-Fab who you just called up to the main roster. Karrion Kross was just in the midst of being repackaged, Keith Lee just appeared after his repackaging as the Bear-cat Keith Lee. Mia Lim who you just announced would be moving brands. Now sure there is Gran Metalik and Lidce Dorado who asked for their releases, and Henry Smith who hasn’t returned to television since re-signing.
There has been speculation from Ryan Glasspiegel and Fightful Select that Nia Jax and four others were openly not vaccinated and that may have had something to do with their releases. It’s just that the optics on this whole thing are objectively huge. So what is the reason?
What Was The Reason?
WWE held its Q3 2021 earnings call shortly before news of the released wrestlers started spreading across the internet. Its latest set of financial reports saw the promotion announce that the quarter’s revenue was up 15% year-over-year, hitting $255.8 million. In addition, WWE has adjusted its profit projections for 2021 as a whole from $270 million – $305 million to $305 million – $315 million, as its business continues to exceed expectations.
The question is: if you’ve exceeded expectations and even had to adjust your profit projections in your favor, how can you cite budget cuts? Honestly this just fuels the speculation that WWE is looking to sell. It’s business 101 that if you are looking to sell it would be wise to inflate the financial benefits. If you report the profits the higher and higher that stock is going to get and in turn so is the price tag. Ultimately you need the highest possible stock number to maximize your profits on the way out.
They have unquestionably signed too many people. It would seem they did this just to prevent them signing with other promotions. This makes no sense because you sign and pay money for all this talent just to turn around and release them months later. Sports teams release people all the time so releases aren’t something new. Especially in combat sports but, when you cite the reason as budget cuts when you have made more money than you ever have that doesn’t add up, “the math aint mathing right”.
What do you think about the new batch of WWE releases? Where do you think they will go next? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think is next.
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