WWE makes another round of talent cuts

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

WWE has cut the following wrestlers on Thursday, November 4.

-Franky Monet.

-Scarlett Bordeaux.

-Ember Moon.

-Oney Lorcan.

-Nia Jax.

-Eva Marie.

-Harry Smith.

-Karrion Kross.

-Keith Lee.

-Hit Row’s B-Fab.

-Lince Dorado.

-Gran Metalik.

-Jessi Kamea.

-Trey Baxter.

-Zayda Ramier.

-Katrina Cortez.

-Jeet Rama.

-Mia Yim.

Powell’s POV: I’m legitimately surprised to see WWE cut Jax given her long run as well as her family connection to Dwayne Johnson. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised by Lee being released, but I am given that they seemed to be pushing his new Bearcat persona. Sadly, the writing was on the wall for the Lucha House Party duo when they weren’t included in the draft. The Smith release is baffling given that they rehired him and then never even put him on television. We will continue to update the list as more names become available. Credit to Fightful.com and PWInsider.com for confirming a number of the releases.

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Readers Comments (27)

  1. Two hundred fifty five million dollars in one quarter isn’t that much money. They need to make more cuts. It is the WWE way of business. Anyone who signs with WWE should either get a no release clause due to budget cuts or they shouldn’t sign.

  2. In a few cases some of these may be missed opportunities but let’s be honest will any of these releases really move the needle? Nope. Attendance and ratings and merch will stay the same

    Not trying to be cold. No one wants to see anyone lose their job. But WWE is a public business not a charity. Employees who don’t add to the bottom line get laid off

    • The number of wrestlers that move any needles in 2021 fits in the palm of a small child…and a few of them (Rock, Cena) are obviously never going to be around for more than a match every few years or so, if that. They didn’t even go extra miles for Daniel Bryan, which tells you where the business is in 2021. It isn’t “booming” at all.
      So, WWE has created a company where the brand is bigger than the talent. This is probably by design. Sure, they have a few big stars (Reigns, for example) but who amongst this current crop is showing up on the Tonight Show, or even being invited to do so?
      Their dream scenario is to buy up as many talents as they can for the PC and NXT 2.0, hoping that they can mold another handful of stars that might sell merchandise someday. If they think they have the people in place to make that happen, I won’t claim it is a *bad* strategy. But it is a risky one. And, frankly, I don’t know any strategy that is better. AEW/IMPACT/MLW/etc. isn’t producing anyone that would make WWE drool over potentially signing them if they became free agents someday.

      • This is SPOT ON analysis!!

      • I could see Vince losing his mind over Alex Hammerstone, but that’s about it from every one of those companies.

        Pro wrestling needs to get away from the stuff that indy fans like and get back to the stuff that had 10-12 million people watching every Monday night. Big dudes who had charisma and look like they could win a real fight and shorter matches and promo segments to get people over as better than their opponents.

        • Get back to the stuff that had 10 Million watching every monday. This is not going to happen anymore. That have been 20 years ago. TV have changed and you can find everything on the internet nowadays.

          • Yellowstone had the highest rating for a cable TV show in over a decade last year. Game of Thrones was setting records for years. Sports ratings are up across the board. Network TV is thriving. Wrestling is one of the few things that isn’t doing well anymore.

            If it’s good, people will watch it on TV. Wrestling, right now, is mostly very bad. The people that watched everything from Hogan and Andre to Austin and Rock aren’t going to tune in for Omega and Bryan or Punk and Kingston. They won’t even tune in for Reigns and Lesnar with the rest of that show usually being bad.

        • Why would you compare Yellowstone or GoT with Wrestling? Different genre, different audience. One is a drama, the other one is about boys and girls in tights “faking” o fight. And lets be honest the Atittude Era wasnt quality tv but low brow entertainment.

          • Why did you ignore that network TV, sports, etc. are also all increasing in ratings. Wrestling is the outlier these days. Everything else gets viewers if it’s good. Wrestling doesn’t get viewers because it isn’t good.

          • So you believe those fights on GoT or Yellowstone aren’t fake?

            Wrestling is a drama as well. Albeit in a different form, all of the criteria for a drama applies to wrestling.

          • The Attitude Era was wildly successful. The current era is failing badly.

            The IWC needs to get off its high horse about these things. The movie industry would cease to exist if it focused on award show darlings like Daniel Day-Lewis and stopped making movies with actual box office successes like Arnold Schwarzenegger. TV execs are desperately looking for the next Friends or Seinfeld, not the next Robot Chicken.

            Wrestling needs way more Damien Priest and Rex Steiner in the pipeline than it does another Sydal brother or Adam Cole. That doesn’t mean people should stop enjoying what they enjoy, but don’t get so sanctimonious about the next technical marvel with the personality of drywall not getting over with the larger audience.

        • So Muscles and size euqals personality? Well, Vince Mc Mahon seemingly shares your view and the product does not get any better by a long stretch.

        • @jdonovan: you dont get the point. Wrestling is building towards a physical confrontation in the ring. Thats the selling point. Not the drama leading up to it.

          • Wrestling has always been about the buildup. Always. The in ring stuff just needs to look like they’re trying to win, and guys standing still and hitting each other with bad looking forearm smashes for 2 minutes or guys standing outside the ring while they look up and hold their arms out to catch someone diving at them doesn’t look like someone trying to win a fight. The physical confrontations that were mostly punches and kicks drew way more fans than the ones today that are about doing every move you know for 20 minutes at a time. Hell, Starrcade 85 is one of the most beloved PPV events of all time and 7 of the 11 matches went less than 10 minutes.

            As far as muscles and size go, it does make a difference to the casual fan and that’s who stopped watching over the years. My dad stopped watching the NWA during the 80s when the Rock ‘n Roll Express was on top because “those guys don’t look like they could whip anybody.” That perception really matters outside the hardcore fanbase that will watch anything. CM Punk getting embarrassed by two unknown fighters killed his credibility with casual fans.

            With that said, there’s always an exception or two. I go out of my way to watch Darby Allin matches, because that little dude hurls himself at people and really comes across as someone trying to hurt and beat the person he’s fighting against. Pac reminds me a bit of Petey Williams in that he’s that super jacked smaller guy who looks like a real threat and has the facials/persona to go with it.

            For the most part, give be big dudes cutting promos that don’t sound scripted while having fights that look like they’re trying to win and sprinkle in the exceptions on the roster when there’s some that really stand out. Don’t give me Happy Corbin, Orange Cassidy, or the Young Bucks.

  3. Haven’t really gone through the entire list to see where they came from – but it appears a lot of the names came from the so-called “independent scene” or are wrestling veterans. In other words, this could further drive home the point that they are more invested in the talent they can groom than the talent that is perhaps not as easy to mold.

    “But what about Gigi Dolan, etc?” There are always exceptions to every rule. They would be nuts to release a talent like hers, regardless of where she was signed from.

    That said, some of these names are still crazy. Scarlett and Kross were GOLD in NXT and seemed to have a strong main roster act. Why they split it up and tried to turn Kross into something different while throwing Scarlett off TV altogether I will never understand.

    It is getting a bit harder to really defend the company, to be honest. If they think their “talent factory” can produce all the stars that they will ever need, good luck on that. Thus far, it is a bit of a mixed bag in NXT 2.0, but it is still early in the game.

  4. “Today we’ll release all the wrestlers with darker skin than Sasha Banks”.

  5. Robert Stone draws. Glad he survived.

    • One must wonder if he does some work behind the scenes in addition to his on-air persona. He doesn’t even have a stable at this point. He was literally buried on TV this past week.

  6. I am shocked lee lasted this long

  7. I hope most of them go to AEW or Impact.Hell I can see Karrion and Scarlett return to Impact and perhaps even Taya Valkyrie..

  8. I’m surprised they let B-fab go.She added alot to Hit Row in my opinion..

  9. This is why they have to keep bringing back Goldberg. Vince has to learn to listen to the crowd. Anyone who saw the 2019 Survivor Series knows how over Keith Lee can be. #retirevince

    • Goldberg segments pull way more TV viewers than Keith Lee. Nearly every appearance for Goldberg the last two years has bumped ratings up. Lee doesn’t do that, but it’s fair to say he hasn’t been booked in a way that could do that.

      • I don’t understand how independent contractors can even have a non-compete clause.

        • It’s almost impressive that WWE has gotten away with that for so long.

          There’s no way it would stand up in court. I think we’ll need to see AEW stick around for a few more years before anyone tries to push WWE on it and even then it would likely take less time to just wait it out than to defeat it in court.

        • THIS! If the “independent contractors” themselves are ok with a non compete, then to me it’s ok. But, I believe that if they are releasing talent, said talent should have the option to sign a non compete at time of release. Work out a deal and what not. In the NFL, when you get released, you don’t have to sit out for a month or two.

  10. I’m OK with a few of these. Jax was dangerous, Eva Marie was boring and B-Fab was as worthless as could be. I’m bummed about Lee. His “Bearcat” persona made him out to look heelish. When he was at the real NXT and a face, he was golden. We’ll see what happens to Piper Niven, Shotzi, Tehgan Nox and Toni Storm. At this rate, we’ll have the same 12 people as 3 years ago having match after match after match. I like New Day and the Usos but how many times can they wrestle each other and keep it fresh and intriguing.

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