According to the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WWE released dozens of employees this week, close to five months after several wrestlers and producers were either released or furloughed due to financial issues associated with the coronavirus pandemic. However, it appears that in-ring performers won’t be included in this round of job cuts.
Citing this week’s Wrestling Observer, Ringside News wrote Friday that WWE let go of about 70 employees, all of whom were previously furloughed. These workers were reportedly waiting for a phone call regarding their employment status, given a number of individuals were asked to return from their furlough over the past eight weeks. However, they were ultimately told their services would no longer be needed.
Apart from producers Mike Rotunda and Sarah Stock and talent scout Gerald Brisco, no other people have been specifically mentioned as being part of the most recent wave of releases. However, the report added a majority of the individuals who were let go were “live event producers, production managers, and those who worked in other aspects of live events, merchandise and travel.”
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Brisco’s release was particularly notable because of the fact he had worked for WWE since 1984. During this nearly four-decade period, the Hall of Famer played various roles for the company and was known for being one of chairman Vince McMahon’s closest associates. This relationship was highlighted on WWE programming in the late 1990s when Brisco and fellow Hall of Famer Pat Patterson played the evil Mr. McMahon character’s on-air “stooges.”
Considering WWE parted ways last week with The Authors of Pain, there were concerns among fans the promotion might be releasing additional in-ring performers, as noted elsewhere by Ringside News. However, WWE reportedly “has no plans” at the moment of cutting any other superstars apart from the former Raw and NXT Tag Team Champions.
In a separate story that also cited the Wrestling Observer, Sportskeeda wrote WWE seemingly focused on releasing older employees and retaining the younger workers. But since the people who were cut were allegedly promised they would be brought back from furlough, only for the date of their return to get postponed “every month,” there is apparently some bitterness among these ex-employees, who feel the promotion had strung them along.
Another supposed reason behind the negative sentiment is WWE’s insistence the cuts and furloughs from April were necessitated by the pandemic, despite how the company eventually reported record profits for the second quarter of 2020.