Around here, much of yesterday afternoon was spent trying to keep up with WWE’s mass release of onscreen talent and furloughs of backstage employees, which came in the wake of a conference call from Vince McMahon to WWE workers, in which he announced major cuts across the board. It was a rough day in wrestling, and there may be more to come.
For now, things have slowed down a bit. There have been some releases from NXT, including Deonna Purrazzo, MJ Jenkins, Aleksandar Jaksic, Alyssa Miles, Jon Quasto, and Dan Matha, as well as on-air talent Josiah Williams, who was a featured player on the WWE PC YouTube page. Purrazzo’s tweet on the subject indicates that she’s been wanting her release, and doesn’t necessarily view this as bad news:
The people closest to me know this is something I’ve been struggling with wanting for the better part of the last year.
Happy to say I gave this journey my best and MORE excited for the future! ❤️
— The Virtuosa (@DeonnaPurrazzo) April 15, 2020
Jenkins’ tweet, on the other hand, is heartbreaking:
Covid-19 has been devastating for me & my family. My brother in law; who was my legal guardian passed away to Covid-19.
Today, Covid-19 stripped me of my dream job. Feels like life is being sucked from me.
Thank you to everyone that has reached out. Be safe and stay strong.💞
— MJ Jenkins (@RealMJJenkins_) April 15, 2020
We hadn’t seen much of Jenkins since the 2018 Mae Young Classic, but she had a great look and plenty of potential, and it’s a real shame she lost her job under these sad circumstances.
NXT trainers Serena Deeb, Ace Steel, and Kendo Kashin have been furloughed and will hopefully be brought back. Deeb was re-hired by WWE just a couple of years ago after being released as a wrestler for questionable reasons almost a decade earlier, so you’d like to believe they’ll do better by her this time around.
Spanish announcer Jerry Soto and writer Andrea Listenberger have also been released, and it’s always possible that more backstage personnel have been released or furloughed without their names coming out so far.
According to Dave Meltzer on Twitter, these personnel cuts will save WWE about $703,000 per month, not the $4 million figure that’s been going around. That number, says Meltzer, accounts for other expenses that have been eliminated like the planned headquarters move.
There are still rumors of more talent cuts to come, although the Wrestling Observer says that any further releases are expected to come from NXT, not the Main Roster.