According to a new report, Dolph Ziggler’s release comes years after he was ready to leave WWE.
In the wake of WWE’s merger with UFC under parent company Endeavor, more than 100 staff members were let go from the company on September 15th. While the layoffs initially affected office staff, a report indicated that talent cuts were also on the way.
Sure enough, on September 21st, multiple stars were released from their WWE contracts, including former World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler, who has been under contract with the company since 2004. The releases have reportedly caused frustration backstage as the company announced a new huge money deal for SmackDown the very same day.
According to a new report from Fightful Select, Dolph Ziggler was ready to leave the company “years ago,” but WWE talked him into extending his contract. The report notes that his deal was originally supposed to extend into the summer of 2024 before he was released.
John Cena Respects Dolph Ziggler
One man who commented on Dolph Ziggler’s release was John Cena, who recently returned to WWE amidst the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Taking to social media, he showed great respect for his former rival, writing:
“One thousand five hundred and fifty four matches. @HEELZiggler #Respect”
Ziggler’s former ally Big E also took to social media to show respect, thanking the former World Heavyweight Champion for his influence on his career. Big E made his main roster debut alongside Ziggler and AJ Lee back in 2012. He wrote:
“I was so immensely fortunate to start my time on the main roster next to @HEELZiggler. I learned so many lessons about this craft by watching and listening. One of the smoothest workers I’ve ever been in the ring with. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me, Zig Man.”