A WWE official shed light on the decision to make mass talent cuts on September 21st.
In the wake of WWE merging with UFC to form TKO Group Holdings under parent company Endeavor, more than 100 employees were let go from their jobs on September 15th. Cuts had long been expected as a result of the merger, with WWE employees “gritting their teeth” as they waited to find out their futures.
It was also reported that talent cuts were expected to take place, and on September 21st, multiple members of both WWE and NXT were released from their contracts.
Mustafa Ali was the first to announce his departure from the company on Thursday afternoon, stating that is “no longer working with WWE.” The news came despite the star having recently become the number one contender for Dominik Mysterio’s North American Championship, with the match between the two scheduled for NXT No Mercy on September 30th.
Another top name to be let go was former World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler, who had been with the promotion for almost two decades.
Popular stars such as Elias, Tenille Dashwood, Shelton Benjamin, and Dana Brooke have also been let go from their contracts in the latest round of releases. The full list of talent releases can be found here.
Why Did WWE Release So Many Wrestlers On September 21st?
Writing in the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer reports that the reasoning behind such massive talent cuts unsurprisingly comes down to money. He wrote:
“The key to the releases were talent making main roster money but not being used on the main roster and with the idea that they were not going to be used in the future. ‘It’s time in vs. how much money you are paid vs. return on investment,’ said one WWE official regarding the talent cuts.”