Vince McMahon made it clear earlier today in that big conference call that cuts were coming, including to talent. Once the employees were warned, it didn’t take long for the names to start coming out. Per an announcement on WWE.com, they’ve released a number of Superstars [Updated]:
WWE has come to terms on the release of Kurt Angle, Rusev (Miroslav Barnyashev), Drake Maverick (James Curtin), Zack Ryder (Matthew Cardona), Curt Hawkins (Brian Myers), Karl Anderson (Chad Allegra), Luke Gallows (Drew Hankinson), Heath Slater (Heath Miller), Eric Young (Jeremy Fritz), Rowan (Joseph Ruud), Sarah Logan (Sarah Rowe), No Way Jose (Levis Valenzuela), Mike Chioda, Mike Kanellis (Mike Bennett), Maria Kanellis, EC3 (Michael Hutter), Aiden English (Matthew Rehwoldt), Lio Rush (Lionel Green), Primo (Edwin Colon) and Epico (Orlando Colon Nieves). We wish them all the best in their future endeavors.
None of these are exactly shocking, as they haven’t been pushed as big stars in WWE (and some like EC3 haven’t even been on TV in months), but that’s a lot of people to let go at one time, as opposed to their usual release announcements that come in ones and twos. Also, Drake Maverick was announced as a competitor in the NXT Cruiserweight Tournament, where he’ll now need to be replaced.
When this news story was first posted on WWE.com, it only listed Maverick, Hawkins, Maverick, EC3, and Rush, but it was edited within a few minutes to add Gallows, Slater, and Young. That may mean more names are on the way, presumably as they’re informed personally so they don’t learn they’ve lost their jobs via the website.
Update: Aiden English, who has most recently been working on commentary, has now been added to the list, as well as WWE Hall Of Famer Kurt Angle.
Update 2: Sarah Logan, formerly of the Riott Squad, has now been released, as has referee Mike Chioda, who has been with WWE since 1989.
Update 3: Primo and Epico Colón, Erick Rowan, and Mike Kanellis have now been released as well.
Update 4: Maria Kanellis, Zack Ryder, and No Way Jose have been released.
Update 5: Rusev has officially been released by WWE.