Spring cleaning is continuing in professional wrestling as WWE has released three more superstars and one writer. Perhaps the biggest name of the day is in this third round of coronavirus pandemic cuts, and that would be former United States Champion Rusev. The other two superstars released on Wednesday afternoon were from the NXT brand.
Along with Rusev, the latest round of cuts includes Deonna Purrazzo and Aleksandar Jaksic from NXT. WWE writer Andrea Listenberger has also been furloughed.
In the continuously updated list on WWE's website, Rusev's name was added after 16 other superstars had already been let go. His release is one of those cuts that isn't too shocking, but it's still hard to take as Rusev is incredibly popular in the WWE Universe.Rusev was last involved in a feud with Bobby Lashley on Monday Night Raw after Lana switched her allegiance. It was a feud that put the two superstars into the main event scene, but then Rusev ended up disappearing from television entirely.
His last appearance for WWE was a tag team match on the February 17 episode of Raw. Rusev teamed with Humberto Carrillo in a losing effort to the team of Angel Garza and Lashley.
Rusev was often involved in significant storylines since joining WWE in 2010, but would quickly see his push subside. On numerous occasions, fans thought he and the promotion were on bad terms due to his cryptic posts on social media.
Purrazzo joined WWE in 2014 and has spent the majority of her time on the NXT brand. She has appeared on the main roster a couple of times, and her final match was a loss to Nia Jax on last week's Monday Night Raw.Aleksander Jaksic joined WWE after attending a tryout in Germany back in November 2018. He has only appeared for NXT, but he has never really moved up to televised events.
Wrestling Inc. is reporting that WWE has not officially announced the releases of Purrazzo or Jaksic, but both superstars confirmed it on their Twitter accounts.Andrea Listenberger also announced on her Twitter account that WWE had furloughed her. Listenberger joins 10 backstage producers who were also released on Wednesday.
WWE cutting costs due to COVID-19 has resulted in 30 people being released from their positions. That number may continue to grow as the cuts may have only started, which could mean more superstars and employees will also lose their jobs.