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WWE cuts Braun Strowman, Aleister Black, Lana, and more

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE announced that they have come to terms on the releases of Braun Strowman, Aleister Black, Lana, Murphy, Ruby Riott and Santana Garrett. Read the official announcement at WWE.com.

Powell’s POV: Wow. I did not expect to see some of those names released from their deals. It’s unclear whether there are additional talent cuts coming, but obviously we will pass along word of any additional moves.


Readers Comments (27)

  1. The release of Strowman is, sadly, the only genuine shock. Although on a personal level I always felt Heidi Lovelace was better than they gave her. Clearly she doesn’t fit the “pneumatic american blonde” thing they love.

  2. I am so done with WWE. Why don’t the higher ups take a pay cut in order to hold on to wrestlers instead of letting them go. Maybe Braun Strowman will make his way to AEW where he will be appreciated.

    • Because then Nick Khan wouldn’t be able to afford the 8 million mansion in LA!

    • He’ll go to AEW and job to a midget idiot with his hands in his pockets.

      Strowman is a good piece as part of a group with limited appearances. Other than that he’s a big guy who can’t cut a promo and gets hurt often.

  3. That’s a damn shame for everybody,but Strowman getting released is shocking.And Aleister gets released right when they apparently brought back his wife?!

  4. Do you think the WWE is in some sort of financial trouble? That’s the only way I can make sense of some of these releases.

    • The sale buzz started with Vince McMahon proclaiming “We’re open for business” during an investors call back when George Barrios and Michelle Wilson were still running the business side. All signs continue to point to Nick Khan streamlining the company for the sale.

      • When you stop and think about it this all makes sense… It’s going to be years (if maybe never) that WWE go back on the road full-time… They’re having trouble selling tickets IN big arenas even for shows like raw and SmackDown… They’re not gonna suddenly do a show at a 5000 Seat Place like the Cumberland county arena in Maine and sell 1200 tickets just so Brian Stroman can beat Alastair black in a two-minute match… That’s just not the business model anymore. it’s either TV or online that’s what they’re aiming for. Live shows are not a winning business model anymore

        And most of these folks are people who quite frankly aren’t getting meaningful TV time anyway… And if they went to AEW it would be up for a very short period of time. None of them are needle movers

  5. I’ll be shocked if some of these names don’t end up in AEW soon – especially Lana (given Miro), but Santana Garret and Ruby Riott would be big gets for AEW’s women’s division.

    It is shocking to me that they cut Braun. I feel like he did the best he possibly could with everything they gave him. I think they failed him with creative.

    At the same time, WWE’s roster is enormous and maybe it’s at that point where if they need to slim down, you’re going to cut people that are of value to your company.

  6. At this point it has got to be a sale that the company is prepping for. If the buyer is NBC Universal, how does the Fox deal for broadcasting Smackdown stay in place?

    Granted, most of the released people aren’t any good, but AEW should add Santana Garrett to their women’s division.

    The only question I have left is what happens to Steph and Paul when the company has new ownership? Do they stay on? Do they cash out and retire? Do they try and start their own company with the connections they’ve made over the years?

    It’s one hell of a strange time for the wrestling business.

    • Networks share other sports (nfl nba etc) all the time. I think they can work something out even during the short term.

      Maybe Fox would be happy to get out of their WWE deal and SDL just moves to another spot on the NBC suite of networks

      • None of those networks actually own the sports leagues. That’s the part that’s intriguing to me. Would Fox be okay with paying all that money to their direct competitor?

        If it’s really a sale situation and NBC is really the buyer, this is going to be fascinating to watch.

      • “Maybe Fox would be happy to get out of their WWE deal and SDL just moves to another spot on the NBC suite of networks”

        Ya I’m sure FOX is clamoring to dump a show that gets the ratings SD does. SD is always in the top shows ever single Friday and wouldn’t you know it they are always #1 or #1 in the coveted demo(you know the ones other companies drone on and on about). Bet they can’t wait to dump such a bad show on their network.

        • The question isn’t the ratings but how much the rating costs? I have zero idea about the data but is the expense worth the result (basic ROI calculations)? I mean maybe it is. Or maybe for 2.1 million viewers they can broadcast a show that costs 1/10th price

    • “most of the released people aren’t any good” – you keep writing things on Jason’s posts but frankly your claims often don’t hold water, like that one I quoted.

      4 out of the 6 people released are, contrary to your claim, good to very good wrestlers.

      Only Lana is really bad (she was there only for her looks). Braun was a big man who could be ok in the ring but failed greatly at character work.

      The other 4: Tom Budgen was hot on the indies before going to NXT and did well in NXT. McMahon didn’t understand and failed to make Budgen into what he could have been. Garrett is a good journeyman worker. Buddy Murphy is very good in the ring. And even Dori Prange worked hard and became a good worker.

      McMahon and (Nick) Khan are just trimming the company. Perhaps it is for selling the company. Or perhaps not – if WWE is not going to do house shows they just don’t need the number of talent they have on their huge roster. A roster that is deeply padded as WWE has been parking talent (to take them off the market) for years.

      • “4 out of the 6 people released are, contrary to your claim, good to very good wrestlers.”

        Good wrestlers don’t draw. Never have, never will. Good workers draw and the people listed aren’t good workers.

  7. vince has to be the dumbest billionaire on the planet….letting this talent go is complete ignorance!!…they should all go to AEW and shove it up the old mans ass!!….lets be real he mis-used strowman from jump and it was all down hill from there….mis used black also….riot was treated as mid card talent when she is clearly top card talent…im actually surprised the old man didnt cut liv morgan as well…but maybe hhh got his ear and say no way she is far to valuable and talented to let go..heyy hh while u got the old mans ear maybe u can tell him how to use her talent,good lord talk about wasting top talent….hint vince send her to raw and have her feud with alexa bliss….$$$$ storyline …your welcome……i can already see thw writing on wall he is going to have charlotte burry another super talent in rhea….vince is clueless….he thinks fans care about giving favors to wrestlers kids…we dont!! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    • Which is better, being the dumbest billionaire or being a genius pauper? I know what I am, and I also know what I would rather be.

  8. Black was just boring, won’t miss him at all. Same with Ruby Riott. You had to know Lana was getting cut sooner or later. I’m a little surprised they didn’t try again with Murphy as he seemed to have some upside.

    As far as Strowman goes, he did a wonderful job with his limited talent and promo ability. Just think back to when he started getting his singles push (the James Ellsworth match and others). Heck the best part of those matches was the interviews with the jobbers. But he got over. Kind of reminds me of Ryback. Once he loses, the mystique is gone.

  9. Chris Johnson June 2, 2021 @ 5:38 pm

    Vince truly made his mark in wrestling, but he checked out a long time ago. He made his money and obviously is going to sell the company pretty soon. He knows that wrestling is done as a whole. AEW will probably pick up most of the talents and get a bump in the ratings, but not that big of a bump. I am glad that I grew up during the peak of wrestling. I got to see some great wrestling that entertained me as a kid like Royal Rumble 92, Wrestlemania 8, 10, and the original King of The Ring. I got to see stars grow such as Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Sting, Dudley Boys, Undertaker, Bret Hart, Hulk Hogan (before I knew what a scum he is), Macho Man Randy Savage to guys like Goldberg in WCW, The Rock, Stone Cold, Brian Pullman, Owen Hart and many others. I saw great females like Sherri Martel, Luna Vachon, Jacqueline, Medusa, Trish Stratus, Lita, Molly Holly to the women’s Revolution like the four horsewoman in NXT. I also got to see special managers like Jimmy Hart, Bobby The Brain, Captain Lou, Harley Race, Jim Cornette. I enjoyed the announcers such as Gorilla Monsoon, Jim Ross, Howard Finkle, Lillian Garcia. Wrestling hasn’t been the same in so long and WWE is done. AEW is just a bunch of guys looking for a pop with the exception of a few such as MJF. Thank you for entertaining me over the years wrestling. RIP.

  10. It is sad to hear that Braun, Lana, Ruby and others were let go due to budget cuts to save a dollar to put in Vince’s pocket. Especially when they are about to hit the road again in July. Very sad and he is dropping talent after talent and ruining lives. But I wish all the luck to those who have been dropped by WWE. God bless them and all of you.

  11. I’m legitimately shocked they cut Braun. Very few wrestlers have put in the time and effort to improve literally every aspect of their character and performance level as him. What a joke.

  12. There’s too much WWE. They need to consolidate. 1 3 hourshow per week with a smaller roster. Pay per view quarterly. Take the pay per view on the road and leave the weekly show in a single venue.

    Let’s be real, the roster is deep yet I get the same matches every week. It is a borefest.

  13. WWE has once again split up several tag teams by releasing one half of the team and keeping the other half. It would be interesting to know what criteria (if any) they used in making these decisions. Could they honestly not afford to pay both members of these teams and one of them had to go or did it boil down to something other than money?

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