Yesterday (Wednesday 15th April) was a dark day in wrestling as WWE released a large number of talent from both behind and in front of the camera.
The perfect summery of the day was Drake Maverick posting an emotional and moving video of someone who’s lost his job to a virus that has taken so much already. Everyone of got the same text could easily echo his words.
Now is not the time to speculate where they’ll go next as I’m sure plenty will return to WWE once everything has returned to some normality.
The biggest name released was Rusev, a superstar fans loved and helped get Rusev Day over. Will now be seen as one of the biggest missed opportunities by the company to present as a main eventer.
It wasn’t just newer, underused talent. It was also long-timers like Heath Slater who’s been with WWE for 16 years and Zack Ryder, who showed the industry how fantastic a tool the internet could be when engaging with fans.
Roster talent weren’t the only one’s release. A large number of producers and agents were let go including, Fit Finley, who one of the main reason why the women’s side of the product is WWE’s biggest driving force.
There was also a writer among the layoffs called Andrea Listenberger who worked on one of the biggest storylines going into Wrestlemania, the Otis and Mandy love story.
32-year long veteran referee Mike Chioda was also let go.
The only bright news on this dark day was Pro Wrestling Sheet reporting the producers are seemingly on furloughed and not released with PWInsider had confirmed nine names to be furloughed.
They include: Fit Finlay, Lance Storm, Mike Rotunda, Shane Helms, Scott Armstrong, Pat Buck, Sarah Stock, Shawn Davari and Billy Kidman.
This day was always going to come, people were sadly going to lose their jobs, but I do believe of a large number of producers and talent it’s a short-term thing, and when the show can go back on the road, they’ll return.
However, sadly I don’t see this being the end of the layoffs and I hope I’m wrong, but as Stephen Gavin pointed out, we could be seeing more talent released on the Smackdown side.
Here’s a full of list of WWE talent released
No Way Jose
Three Performance Centre coaches have been placed on furlough via Per Figure Four Online.
Ace Steel (Chris Guy)
Kendo Kashin (Tokimitsu Ishizawa)