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In the WWE, one effective way to save money is by releasing talent, and whilst it is often seen as a brutal cut, no-one can deny that releasing a Superstar who fans have barely seen anyway, is often the smartest choice, from a business perspective.
And whilst many released stars have later been rehired, such as Jinder Mahal, EC3 and Drew McIntyre, it can never be a good feeling to get fired from the biggest wrestling company int he world.
But there are those few Superstars, who through either their own work or the work of the company, who will always find a way to survive, even in 2019.
Here Are 4 WWE Superstars who will be released in 2019 and 2 who may NOT BE RELEASED.
#5 May Be Released: Shelton Benjamin
Shelton Benjamin may have had the worst luck of any recent returner to the WWE.
Originally touted for a big comeback in July 2016, a severe ankle injury meant fans didn’t see him compete until August the next year, where a lot of the hype around him had died down.
Things got worse for him though, as Benjamin has been barely used by the company, having few, if any actual feuds, and a very brief tag-team with Chad Gable, who has since gone on to bigger and better things on RAW.
A former United States, Intercontinental and Tag Team Champion, it’s clear that the Gold Standard could be a success, but has failed to connect in this run, which seemingly should end next year.
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#4 May Not Be Released: Zack Ryder
The WWE may love the concept of Superstars interacting on social media, but when Zack Ryder took the initiative to do just that in 2011, the company quickly buried him.
Following mass out-cry from fans though, Ryder was given a small push, but since losing the United States Championship, nearly seven years ago, has done very little.
Despite a one-day reign as Intercontinental Champion, the Woo Woo Woo Warrior has had practically no feuds and has lost the ones he has had. However, the fans are still very much behind Ryder, no doubt thanks to his good graces with the crowd from his earlier days.
Not only that, his passion for WWE and it’s toys have made him a great spokesman for the company’s Mattel range, so don’t expect Ryder to leave just yet in 2019.
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#3 May Be Released: Hideo Itami
hen Hideo Itami joined the WWE in their NXT brand, the Japanese star came with a lot of buzz. A proven star when he worked as KENTA, Itami was part of the ‘NXT 5’, alongside Finn Balor, Neville, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens.
Whilst his comrades went on to bigger and better things though, the company never really gave Itami a chance, despite him being seemingly destined for the NXT Championship.
To be fair, a serious injury didn’t help Itami’s chances, but after being written off TV with a supposed backstage attack, the company never even gave the story a conclusion, with Itami’s assailant never coming to light.
Now on 205 Live, Itami isn’t even the biggest star on that show, and must by this point, realise that he could be a much bigger deal outside the WWE.
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#2 May Not Be Released : Dolph Ziggler
For years, Dolph Ziggler has teased that he would be leaving the WWE, very soon. And if he chose to do so, Ziggler would no-doubt be a huge success, in or outside of the ring.
However, given the incredible year he has had, which included a lengthy reign as Intercontinental Champion, it’s obvious that the company don’t intend on letting him go just yet.
Instead, the accolades and main-event push he received this year may have been done just to make sure the Zig Zag man, a decade-long veteran of the company, stays.
Now in a high profile feud on RAW with former partner Drew McIntyre, as well as Finn Balor, it’s clear these three will be battling into the New Year, with the former World Champion hoping to steal the show, once again, over the next 12 months.
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#1 May Be Released: Gallows and Anderson
As former RAW Tag Team Champions, the team of Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson have had some success in WWE, though clearly not much.
Joining in 2016 as the associates of AJ Styles, the trio worked well together, though many fans lost interest when the Phenomenal One was drafted to SmackDown.
Now on the Blue brand themselves, the Good Brothers receive sporadic bookings, sometimes being shown as one of SmackDown’s toughest teams, but often not being shown at all.
With their contracts up in 2019, there are no shortage of places the former champs could go next, though many would assume they would return to New Japan for one last epic run.
There’s no doubt that the team would be better utilized outside of WWE, than as a part of it.
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