As noted by PWInsider, Mike Rotunda — who fans may remember as the legendary IRS character — was released by WWE as part of Thursday’s cutbacks. The father of Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas leaves the company following 14 years of service as a backstage producer.
As stated in the report, Rotunda was furloughed along with several other backstage employees back in April. The legend seemingly saw this coming, as he opened a Pro Wrestling Tees store following the announcement as a means of making some extra income.
Rotunda is one of two confirmed legends to have lost their jobs as part of the corporation’s latest round of cutbacks. As The Inquisitr reported on Thursday, Hall of Famer Gerald Brisco also lost his job after 36 years with Vince McMahon’s promotion.
As The Inquisitr article highlighted, the latest releases reportedly won’t affect any superstars. The affected parties are expected to be backstage employees who were already furloughed.
Rotunda enjoyed a successful career both in and out of the ring. During his time as an in-ring competitor, he competed for WWE and won the Tag Team Championships on numerous occasions alongside Ted DiBiase and Barry Windham.
In addition to wrestling for McMahon’s promotion, he competed for World Championship Wrestling and NJPW. Longtime fans might remember him as a member of the legendary Varsity Club faction, which was led by Kevin Sullivan.
Rotunda hung up his boots in 2004 and made the transition to his producer and agent role in 2006. He was used in some televised segments since becoming a behind-the-scenes employee, including one in which he was attacked by the Nexus.
Rotunda’s release also coincided with that of Sarah Stock. As documented by Fightful, the developmental trainer — who was known as Sarita during her in-ring career — was let go after five years with the corporation. She was also furloughed back in April.
The latest releases appear to be a reaction to the economic uncertainty brought on by the pandemic. While some workers have been brought back recently, the promotion seems to be streamlining staff wherever possible. As of this writing, more departures are expected to follow the aforementioned people.
The cutbacks have also coincided with reports that some staff members have been underpaid and overworked throughout the pandemic. As The Inquisitr recently documented, some workers have reportedly had their pay decreased by tens of thousands of dollars, even though they’ve supposedly been single-handedly performing tasks meant for a group of people.