On Wednesday morning, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) announced that impacts would be felt as the professional wrestling entity continued to face fiscal obstacles as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Later that afternoon, the company revealed that numerous in-ring talents were released from their contracts while additional sources reported that other support staff were either let go or furloughed.
Within the lengthy list initially revealed were multiple former title holders and veteran tag teams. The WWE public made the announcements on social media platforms as the day progressed.
BREAKING: WWE has come to terms on the release of Drake Maverick (James Curtin), Curt Hawkins (Brian Myers), Karl Anderson (Chad Allegra), EC3 (Michael Hutter) and Lio Rush (Lionel Green). We wish them all the best in their future endeavors. https://t.co/cX449nNSLU
Later, Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online reported that the following talent had officially received their releases.
- Rusev (Miroslav Barnyashev)
- Kurt Angle
- Karl Anderson (Chad Allegra)
- Luke Gallows (Andrew Hankinson)
- Drake Maverick (James Curtin)
- Curt Hawkins (Brian Myers)
- EC3 (Michael Hutter)
- Lio Rush (Lionel Green)
- Erick Rowan (Joseph Ruud)
- Eric Young (Jeremy Fritz)
- Heath Slater (Heath Miller)
- Aiden English (Matthew Rehwoldt)
- Sarah Logan (Sarah Rowe)
- Referee Mike Chioda
- Primo (Edwin Colon)
- Epico (Orlando Colon Nieves)
- Mike Kanellis (Mike Bennett)
- Maria Kanellis (Maria Kanellis-Bennett)
- Zack Ryder (Matthew Cardona)
- No Way Jose (Levis Valenzuela)
A pair of in-ring talent from the company’s NXT brand also announced that they had also received their releases: Deonna Purrazzo and Aleksandar Jaskic.
PWI Insider reported Wednesday afternoon that numerous producers, Mike Rotunda, Billy Kidman, Dave Finlay, Shawn Daivari, Scott Armstrong, Pat Buck, Sarah Stock, Lance Storm and Shane Helms have either been furloughed or are gone from WWE.
As news of the releases were made public, those athletes expressed thoughts on their respective social media accounts.
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.
Thank you All, Rusev out!
The only thing I wanted to do in life was wrestle. I’m grateful I spent 14 years living my dream in WWE. Thanks to my fans & everyone who believed in me. As I was getting released, I was looking at this photo & smiling. I’m #AlwayzReady & beyond excited for the future.
I know everyone is waiting to hear my response to my release from WWE but after 16 years I’m going to need a little more than a few hours to really digest all my thoughts and emotions. For now, thank you all for all of your kind words and support during this time.
To all my friends,fans. And family. This is a crazy time and I want to say thanks to @WWEUniverse and everyone I’ve ever shared ring time with, working with or teaching. Stay safe. Especially to all the amazing girls (women) I’ve had the honor to work with. Stay safe y’all.
My immediate thoughts. @WWE @WWENXT #WWE #NXT @TripleH @ShawnMichaels #Cruiserweight https://t.co/Afw58V7eo1
Arch City Media will be following this story as it develops.