Every year, there is a time when WWE decides to go in and clean house of talent that isn't being used, isn't getting over, or simply isn't living up to their contract. As of right now, it seems the company is starting with NXT, and by 1:45 p.m. ET on Friday afternoon, a total of five talents from developmental are no longer with the promotion.
According to Pro Wrestling Sheet, the latest releases are Oscar Vasquez (better known as Magno) and Peter Howard. With their releases, the total number of talent gone from NXT as of Friday afternoon is five.
Earlier in the day, it was revealed that three other players were gone from the company as well: Bull Dempsey, Marcus Louis, and Sylvester LeFort.
There are conflicting reports about the departure of Dempsey, as WrestleZone is saying that he "left the company," but there are other reports saying he was released. Dempsey has been with WWE since 2013 and started out hot with NXT, but he has since seen his role greatly diminished.
Dempsey did get on Twitter to announce he was no longer with WWE/NXT.
It's been real @WWENXT. Amazing group of coaches & coworkers & a helluva boss. Thank you for the opportunity @TripleH. See ya down the road!
— Bull Dempsey (@BullDempseyWWE) February 5, 2016
He then also tweeted out that he was available for bookings of any kind.
Vasquez (aka Magno) never debuted on NXT television at all, but his signing was seen as a huge deal last year. WWE.com reported his signing with the company and how he brought a lot of Lucha Libre heritage into NXT.
There was even talk of him competing with or without a mask in the ring for WWE.
"The name Magno means something big, something magnificent. I don't know how to say it in English, but it basically means something brilliant. This is the third mask design I've used. If you turn it sideways, there's an "M" wrapped around the eye."
Around the same time last year, WWE.com also announced the signing of Peter Howard, a former rugby star. There were reports that WWE had really loved his size and strength, and there was talk that big things were in store for him.
Howard never made it onto NXT television either. It's not exactly certain what brought forth the releases of both of these developmental trainees, but they are indeed no longer with the company.
Sylvester LeFort debuted on WWE television around the same time that Bull Dempsey did, and he was popular and in the spotlight for a while. Over the course of the last six or seven months, though, he's become invisible and just not even there.
Lefort had formed a tag team in NXT with Marcus Louis, and they became known as The Legionnaires. They feuded with Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy (Cass), and it was quite a big one that led to a Hair vs. Hair Match at NXT Takeover: Fatal 4-Way.
WWE has not yet officially announced the releases on their website, but they are all expected to come soon.
Every year, WWE does has a period of time where superstars are released from their contracts and wished well in their future endeavors. It's not known if there are going to be more cuts coming in NXT or any on the WWE level at all.
The releases of all five NXT talents are not necessarily shocking, but they are kind of out of nowhere. Sylvester LeFort and Marcus Louis haven't been used much, and Bull Dempsey has seen his role diminished. Peter Howard and Magno never even got onto NXT television and will now have to find work elsewhere.
[Image via NXT/WWE]