WWE makes thirteen NXT cuts

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

WWE released the following wrestlers from their NXT contracts on Friday.

-Bronson Reed

-Bobby Fish

-Mercedes Martinez

-Jake Atlas

-Leon Ruff

-Ari Sterling

-Giant Zanjeer

-Kona Reeves

-Asher Hale

-Tyler Rust

-Zechariah Smith

-Referee Stephon Smith

-Desmond Troy (a/k/a Denzel Dejournette)

Powell’s POV: The releases were announced by the wrestlers, Fightful.com, and PWInsider.com. While I feel for everyone who was cut, I am most surprised to see Bronson Reed let go given that he recently dropped the NXT North American Championship in what many of assumed was a prelude to him being called up the main roster. There are some very talented people who were released and I sincerely hope that they find success elsewhere.


Readers Comments (14)

  1. Maybe you can offer some insight into wrestling contracts

    If I sign a WWE contract I get paid a base plus some level of bonuses I assume right? And being under contract I can’t just up and leave to go elsewhere. BUT I can be cut at any time and too bad for me? That doesn’t seem quite right (sounds like NFL style contracts)

    No wonder wrestlers want a Union. Speaking of that. Why aren’t they in the SAG?

    Any thoughts?

  2. Vince wasn’t lying about giving AEW more talent. I don’t know what they are cutting so many people. Pretty soon, they will be down to five wrestlers per brand. Nick Khan helping his fellow Khan. I demand a DNA test between those two to prove that they aren’t related.

  3. NOT JAKE ATLAS!!! Ah, I reckon you can only get so far by impressing Stephanie McMahon with a backflip on Undercover Boss…

  4. WHAT!!!!!!!!! WHY!!!!!!!!!!! DAMN YOU, VINCE!!!!! DAMN YOUUUU!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Rust too? Damn it! I think I just lost my voice… and I ran out of exclamation marks.

  6. Damn!
    Diamond Mine already down a member..

    • That stable was doomed from day one. Arturo Ruas and Marina Shafir were originally supposed to be part of it, which would have made a lot more sense given their MMA background, but they were cut last month. But this is WWE and losing the talent that gave an act its sense has never stopped them from continuing the act in the past (Hart Foundation, Demolition) so why stop now?

  7. NXT contracts are not like WWE contracts for Raw and Smackdown. At least that is how it *was*. (See some old reports by Meltzer.) Developmental contracts were low pay (but also did not require travel or if the talent did travel then they’d get expenses paid, unlike main roster talent.)

    And yes, talent can be released at any time. There are probably severance clauses that gives the talent continuing pay during their non-compete period, so that’s what the talent gets out of it.

    Vince McMahon is a controlling person. WWE is his creation, he owns most of the voting shares, and he’ll do with it as he pleases.

    NXT has been a parking lot for talent. It was designed to do that. Now that it is clear that didn’t work out, why keep spending all the money on a failed project?

    If NXT wasn’t run by his son-in-law, I believe NXT would have been done by now. As far as Vince is concerned, it’s just another hour of programming for Comcast.

    • NXT was first just on local florida tv then wwe network now 2 hours on usa network
      So yeah its changed a lot the last 9 years
      Running local shows again would be good

    • Just to add to this, the NXT contracts vary. There are the entry level type of deals, but there are better contracts for the mainstays. And WWE has always had special deals for high profile developmental signees both for wrestlers and non-wrestlers. An extreme example would be if Olympic wrestler Gable Steveson signs. He’s not coming in at a standard entry level deal. And I’m guessing you are aware of all this, but I figured I’d add some notes for the sake of others who may not understand how it works.

  8. I sure hope Theory ain’t next.

    • Austin Theory is now a dark match guy on Vince’s shows. I’ve always believed that Theory was tagged as one of Vince’s future projects.

  9. WWE/NXT’s loss is AEW or Impact’s gain perhaps..

  10. Reed might be able to make something of himself outside of WWE. He’s got a decent bit of charisma. Fish is 45 and always injured and Martinez is in her 40s as well. The rest are nobodies and I’m guessing they’re clearing the decks to offer Adam Cole a sizable raise.

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