With WWE apparently cutting costs as the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the global economy, dozens of wrestlers and other employees were released or furloughed on Wednesday, though reported figures only cover those whose releases or furloughs were made public by the company. With that in mind, a recent report suggests that there could be many more employees — possibly hundreds of them — whose time in the promotion may soon be coming to an end.
Quoting a tweet from the WrestleVotes account, WrestlingNews.co wrote that the expectation is that Wednesday's batch of releases may only be the start of something even more sweeping — a wave of job cuts that likely won't just include on-air talent, but also individuals who work on the road and at WWE's company headquarters.
"All I can say is wow at this point. The number of people, staff + talent, let go will be in the hundreds when it's all set and done. Well into the hundreds. A dark day in WWE history."As of Wednesday night, close to 20 wrestlers from WWE's three brands — Raw, SmackDown, and NXT — had officially been released by the company, with former United States Champion Rusev and NXT superstars Deonna Purrazzo and Aleksandar Jaksic being among the latest names included in the list. It's not clear, however, whether there may be more on-air performers who could end up getting cut as WWE continues its cost-cutting measures.In addition to this week's releases, WWE parted ways last week with The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder), though the duo was let go after they had — as rumors had previously claimed — repeatedly asked to be let go from their contracts and expressed hesitation to sign new deals with the promotion.
Despite all the difficult news surrounding WWE over the past 24 hours, WrestlingNews.co noted that the company hasn't ruled out the possibility that some of the released wrestlers may be rehired once the economy rebounds. However, due to the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, it's likewise far from clear when this could take place, or which superstars may be invited to re-sign with WWE.
As cited separately by Wrestling Inc., a report from Figure Four Weekly Online suggested that most of the backstage producers mentioned in lists of WWE job cuts were furloughed, thus leaving the door open for their eventual return. The only exception appears to be WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle, who was actually released from the company.