Post WrestleMania season often sees personnel changes aplenty in the WWE. With this year’s exceptional circumstances several talents and producers were released this morning. Some names huge surprises while others were almost anti-climatic. Several WWE Talent & Producers Released today amidst massive releases said to be part of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Let go by WWE today were Drake Maverick, EC3, Curt Hawkins, Lio Rush, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, Eric Young, and Heath Slater. Add Maria and Mike Kanellis to that list as well. No doubt that her husband will not be far behind.
No one can feign surprise over the release of Eric Young who, notwithstanding a nice run in Impact and a cup of coffee on NXT as part of the Insanity stable, was a non-factor on television. Curt Hawkins for his part had his biggest recent push predicated on a lengthy losing streak and was not a prominent or valuable character in Stamford’s eyes or so it would seem.
Drake Maverick, the former Rockstar Spud was briefly an integral part of 205 Live and of course, managed A.O.P. upon their debut on Raw. Creative reduced him to a laughing stock with bathroom humor and a running gag about being unable to consummate his marriage. No matter how talented one is, or isn’t, without a decent and credible push your days are numbered.
WWE Talent and Producers Released
The same concept applies to EC3, he excelled on Impact, held their championship and had memorable matches against credible opponents like the Allmighty Bobby Lashley. Carter is good on the mic as well but NEVER had a chance in WWE.
Lio Rush constitutes another case of talent ill-used and bounced around like a superball. After floundering in the ring he was cast as Bobby Lashley’s manager in an aggravating attempt to re-package an Abraham Washington like character who was the 21st century knock off of Jimmy Hart.
After disappearing from Walking Armegeddon’s side, Rush found his way back to the ring and held championship gold on NXT. He had a tremendous feud with Angel Garza before losing his belt and fading back to obscurity. Lio should be signed elsewhere in the not too distant future.
The releases that surprised us the most were that of Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. After huge success in Japan, they were lured to the WWE. While at first being under-used, they voiced their frustration. Officials suddenly decided not to sweep their work overseas under the rug and gave them prominent air and plotline time.
They became the World’s Greatest tag team and also formed or re-formed the Original Club joining forces with AJ Styles and rekindling the magical clique they knew in Japan. Who knew the Boneyard Match would be the duo’s Waterloo.
This team is in a position to solicit offers from all over and will definitely know better days. We would not be surprised to see them debut at Double or Nothing under the tutelage of Jake Roberts.
Who were the names of the WWE Producers Furlonged?
Heath Slater was a standout in FCW, the predecessor to NXT. He was a part of the Nexus faction which invaded Raw before becoming one-third of 3MB with Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal. Slater had decent mic skills and was given enough leverage to go far with his “I’ve got kids ” tagline. When you’re teamed with Rhyno and are used as upper-tier enhancement talent, the long term outlook is never great.
Bret Hart’ s documentary “Wrestling With Shadows ” ended with a tremendous line to the effect of that wrestlers are like circus animals. As soon as they cease to be profit-generating and or productive, they are gratuitously disposed of. Today’s releases are pretty well indicative of this thought process.
Also, several producers were let go at the same time, at least temporarily. That list including Shane Helms, Billy Kidman, Fit Finlay, Mike Rotundo and more. Even multi-billion-dollar corporations feel compelled to cut costs in the short term. With no road-shows, having road agents at this stage became a luxury that even WWE could not afford. The financial toll of the pandemic can certainly not be overlooked.
The huge losses suffered by the company endured owing to WrestleMania being reduced to a television event. We sadly anticipate further and deeper cuts in the coming weeks and months. Having more talent than you know what to do with and creative mediocrity holding them back creates a very sad circle. With the current number of WWE Talent and Producers released (or furlonged) stay tuned for more information as its available.