WWE is officially releasing nine Superstars from the company after WrestleMania 35, wrestlingnewsplus.com has learnt.
Usually just around Wrestlemania season, WWE will undergo something of a talent purge. Some wrestling critics and online wits will refer to this process as “Spring Cleaning,” and it has become a matter of course for wrestling fans to speculate about who will be leaving, why they are leaving, and what their future plans will be.
The creation of All Elite Wrestling, however, threw something of a monkey wrench into these works. Ever since 2001, WWE has been without serious competition in the North American pro wrestling marketplace. Organizations like TNA/Impact, Lucha Underground, and Ring of Honor have had many successes, but have yet to come close to the market footprint that WWE enjoys.
What this means, among other factors, is that WWE has been able to blithely release talent without having to worry if they are giving competition a viable star.
All Elite Wrestling’s advent means that this is no longer the case. Releasing a wrestler could mean that that very same talent will be appearing on a different channel at the same time as WWE product. This means that the WWE must now be very, very selective of whom they release.
The three superstars and one backstage producer that have been released have already been covered in great detail, but what about those wrestlers who could be next on the chopping block? Here are five wrestlers who could soon face an exit from WWE… whether they like it or not!
# Mojo Rawley
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about WWE CEO Vince McMahon over the many decades of his career in wrestling promotion, it’s that he loves professional football with a great passion. It was this passion that led him to try his hand at his own professional American football league with the XFL once before, and now is causing him to give the project a go once again.
Vince McMahon’s love of pro football could also be what has made him take chances on former football players who have ultimately failed in spite of a great deal of effort on the part of the company.
Heidenreich was once pushed to the moon, even joining the legendary Road Warriors, before WWE finally gave up on him. Likewise Baron Corbin was once thought to be the next big thing in WWE, but wound up floundering to the point of being put in a largely non-wrestling role.
Add to the list of former football players who have floundered one Mojo Rawley. He was pushed quite hard upon his rise to the main roster, and won the Andre the Giant memorial battle royal, but otherwise has accomplished nothing of note.
Why he might be released soon: Mojo Rawley isn’t a great wrestler, and he hasn’t gotten over with the crowd as WWE would have liked. Also, he is not a major established star (see below.)
What he might do if his release comes: Mojo Rawley, unlike men like Tye Dillinger, probably has little prospect of being hired by promotions like All Elite Wrestling or Ring of Honor. His best bet might be to head back to the indies for some polishing, like Drew McInytre did.
# Dana Brooke WWE Release
Dana Brooke is a former fitness model and bodybuilder who must have seemed like the perfect fit for the role of a WWE Diva.
Unfortunately, she came into the WWE about the same time as less of an emphasis was being put on women’s looks and more on their wrestling ability. The women’s evolution has meant that now it takes in ring talent to truly be pushed to a prominent role in the company.
Pro wrestling is a very hard entertainment form to perform. It requires not just athletic ability, which Dana Brooke obviously possesses, but also an ability to synchronize your movements with your fellow performers in a way that even professional dance troupes would find difficult. While Dana has the look of a superstar, she has never really gelled in the ring with her opponents.
They tried to transition her into a manager/valet role, but she doesn’t have the charisma of someone like Paul Heyman or Zeb Colter. Her role with Titus Worldwide has been considered underwhelming.
From Another Angle, We Dare Say: Dana Brooke has been overlooked on the main roster ever since she was promoted, and once again the former NXT star has been forgotten in the Women’s Division on Monday Night Raw.
Brooke took to Social Media earlier this year when she was left off the Royal Rumble poster, being the only female talent on the main roster who didn’t make the cut. Just a month later, she was forgotten when it came to the first ever Women’s Elimination Chamber match, another match that Brooke was unable to lend her skill set too, which led to her once again calling out the company.
Over the past year, she has been seen as Titus Worldwide’s statistician rather than an in-ring performer, but now that she’s back as a full-time performer, she has been overlooked once again.
Dana Brooke recently took to Instagram to comment on the fact that she has been forgotten off the TLC poster, being the only member of the Raw Women’s Division who has been left off the design.
In order to make things easy for Dana Brooke, the WWE officials are working to release her along side some other stars as we have already detailed.
Why she might be released soon: Dana Brooke has struggled to get her in ring performance on a par with her appearance and potential. Her lack of major status or career accolades don’t help her much, either.
What she might do if she gets her release: A journey to Impact, Ring of Honor, or Japan seems unlikely, due to her lack of wrestling skill. She could, however, easily return to the world of modelling.
The son of former WWE World tag team champion and WCW World Television champion Mike Rotunda was quite popular on the NXT brand. The yellow brand’s emphasis on in ring action and more traditional wrestling gimmicks helped him tremendously.
However, when he was elevated to the main roster, he was re packaged as an inspirational speaker and all of his momentum died. When you brand a wrestler into a comedy act, it’s usually the death knell of their career – just ask Terry “Red Rooster” Taylor. Since leaving behind the inspirational speaker gimmick, he hasn’t done much, though the B Team was a moderate success.
Why he might be released soon: Bo Dallas doesn’t have the ‘look’ that Vince McMahon craves for his wrestlers, and his long tenure likely translates to a higher salary that the WWE would rather spend on a superstar they believe to be more ‘marketable.’
What he might do upon his release if it comes: Bo Dallas is quite a skilled in ring performer, but seems undersized. We can think of three guys who all fit that bill and have just started their own wrestling company…
# Luke Harper
Unlike many WWE stars who wind up in NXT, Luke Harper was a ten year veteran of the ring before he inked his first WWE contract.
Known by a variety of names but most frequently as Brodie Lee, the big man may look like a typical ‘redneck’ but is actually a top tier, elite athlete capable of performing moves that men half his size cannot, such as his insanely high drop kick.
He has also demonstrated an ability to keep up with, and even out-wrestle, much smaller athletes in the cruiserweight category. When the Wyatt Family first broke up, it seemed like Harper had a shot at reaching the main event, but an untimely injury derailed his momentum, and a hasty Wyatt family reunion didn’t do much for him, either.
Why he might be released soon: Harper, while quite powerful, doesn’t have the rippling musculature of men like John Cena, and isn’t considered photogenic by the WWE. He has also suffered several untimely injuries.
What he might do upon his release: Luke Harper could probably find employment in just about any wrestling organization out there, from ROH to AEW to New Japan, but he has been dabbling in acting roles, so Hollywood might be his next stop should his release be given.
Miroslav Barnyashev, known better to the world as the Bulgarian Brute Rusev, had only been wrestling for two years when he was brought into WWE’s developmental territory of Florida Championship wrestling.
Rusev was kept in development for over four years, which is a moderately long time to be in such a place for an experienced wrestler. It’s no where near as long a tenure in developmental as Nick “Eugene” Dinsmore once endured, but it’s still a long time.
He joined the main roster in 2014 and enjoyed an undefeated streak, mostly because Vince McMahon really wanted a Russian heel (he’d tried once before with Vladimir Kozlov.) Because of Rusev’s heavy accent, he was paired with Lana as a mouthpiece, who eventually became his wife.
Rusev has held multiple mid card championships but has never ascended to the main event, despite his popularity with the crowd due to his Rusev Day gimmick.
Why he might be facing his release soon: Rusev is a talented performer, but the fact is Vince McMahon has never believed in him since the monster Russian heel gimmick failed. Rusev has cut his hair and lost weight in an effort to impress the boss, all for naught.
Where he might go if he gets his release: Rusev, thanks to his strong social media game and appearance on Total Divas, has some appeal for promotions like Impact and New Japan, who like wrestlers with some internet fame. He could also wind up in AEW or Ring of Honor because he’s skilled enough for those promotions. Rusev’s release might wind up being a blessing.
There you have it – five WWE superstars who could be next for their release from the company. Questions or comments? Please leave them below the article, and as always, thanks for reading!
Alicia Fox WWE Release
Alica Fox showed up intoxicated to a WWE live event and Arn Anderson let her wrestle anyway. However, only Arn Anderson was fired for this offense.
The internet is not liking that at all and they are coming out about the subject in a big way.
The fine folks on Reddit have been sounding off about this story. A majority of people don’t have very nice things to say either. If you would like to see the entire thread, you can get that Reddit goodness here. Otherwise, here are some immediate reactions to the story.
“I agree, but how does Fox still have a job then?”
“Well she hasn’t wrestled in nearly a month, the WWE equivalent of semi-unpayed leave. They’re probably weighing their options or are working with her somehow.”
“100% she should be fired. She showed up and put a co-workers life at risk, and that’d get you fired from pretty much any other job, so WWE really shouldn’t be any different.”
“To be fair to Arn, how can anyone tell if Alicia Fox is drunk or sober?”
“Well apparently Alicia Fox is confrontational drunk cause there was that video of her yelling at Travis Browne Wrestlemania last weekend. John Thorne of AIW on his podcast confirmed she was drunk and started getting mad at him for no reason when he was talking to Hawkins and Swoggle”
“Uhm, is Alicia Fox not gonna get any severe punishment? That’s insanely unprofessional at the very least…”
“If this is true, this reflects pretty bad on Arn.”
“I think I see what happened. Arn probably thought since it was a 6 person tag, Alicia wouldn’t have to work, she could just stand on the apron, get bumped once and that’s the end of it.”
“Still the dumbest decision though. Send her home, discipline later, and throw someone else in at the last minute in her place.”
“It seems like that incident with Alicia and Travis Browne makes more sense now”
“How does Alicia Fox keep her job it’s amazing that she’s been in the company for 10+ years.”
“Yes, Arn shouldn’t have let her wrestle, but this is completely irresponsible on Fox’s part. If you’re not 100% with it in the ring, you are risking yourself and the people involved in the match with you. Someone that has been with the company that long should know better.”
“Surely Fawwwwks is out the door too then? Completely unacceptable by both of them if this is true.”
These are individual opinions and WWE will take their own course of action in this matter. They might try and give Foxy a chance to clean up her act, however, if they listen to the fans on Squared Circle, then it might not be a good week for Alicia Fox.
In addition, Alicia Fox made her main roster debut a few months late on the blue brand following her signing to WWE back in 2006. Since then she has worked with many top female stars of the company.
But of recent she has not been involved in a major angle, and has found some serious trouble with regards finding her place on a roster filled with stars like Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, Ronda Rousey, Nia Jax, Alexa Bliss, and many more
Hence, Fox’s future with the company is actually up in the air, according to PWInsider. There has been speculation on Fox’s future with the company ever since she got into an argument with Ronda Rousey’s husband Travis Browne during WrestleMania 34 weekend in New Orleans. The incident took place at the WWE hotel in New Orleans and led to some media attention as video surfaced online.
Mickie James WWE Release
Mickie James is a former five-time Women’s Champion, she is also a former Divas Champion and was once considered to be the future of WWE’s Women’s Division when Trish Stratus passed the torch to her at WrestleMania 22.
Just four years later, Mickie was released by WWE and made the switch over to TNA, before she returned to WWE a few years ago after.
It was later announced on WWE’s website that Mickie along with Katie Lea Burchill, Shelton Benjamin, Kung Fu Naki, Slam Master J and Jimmy Wang Yang were all released from their WWE contracts.
The current situation with James is that she’s not winning many matches, which means that she didn’t put over those stars who have beaten her. The motive of her return to WWE was to make other superstars rise in the game by putting them over her.
So WWE may let her go as she would do the company much hurt.
Paige WWE Release
Words going round now is that Paige might be released from WWE sooner than later.
The Total Divas, Paige officially retired from wrestling on WWE Raw on April 9, 2018. After that, she became the SmackDown General Manager, but ended that job in December, 2018. Word has it, though, that Paige will have a 2019 role in the WWE universe.
In fact, when Buzzfeed called her a “former” WWE star, Paige responded on Twitter that the term was incorrect:
— PAIGE (@RealPaigeWWE) February 12, 2019
RAW Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey Leaving WWE After WrestleMania 35
Becky Lynch spoke with TMZ Sports this week in New York City. Becky was asked what RAW Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey meant when she said their WrestleMania 35 “Winner Takes All” Triple Threat main event with SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair was a “do or die” moment for Ronda Rousey’s WWE career.
“Well, OK, so we know Ronda, don’t we at this stage? So, what has been so strategic in my playbook is that I triggered her little God complex,” Lynch said. “When Ronda feels untouchable that’s when she gets put to sleep, that’s when she gets knocked out, and we all know what happens to Ronda when that happens, she goes and she cries under a blanket for a year or whatever, but she can’t hack it, so she gets her jacket and she’s out of there.”
Lynch was asked if she really thinks Rousey will walk away from WWE if she doesn’t win the WrestleMania 35 main event on Sunday.
“Oh yeah, absolutely,” Lynch responded. “She won’t be able to hack it. She won’t be able to take it, she won’t be able to look defeat in the face and say, ‘I can come back from this.’ The only thing she knows how to do is be invincible or be gone.”
Becky continued, “Charlotte has been naturally selected by all of her daddy’s friends backstage. And Ronda did come in with the name, she at one stage was the baddest woman on the planet, but I think I exposed Ronda, at this stage she’s been exposed. I will survive Ronda. I know I can take a beating. I don’t get my confidence from thinking I’m not going to get beat. I get my confidence from knowing I can take a beating and come back from it. So, call me the underdog. I haven’t been the golden girl like the other two, but that’s what makes me stronger, that’s what makes it the main event. Because could you imagine the build-up if it was that freakin’ corporate main event with the two of them, just scowling at each other? Charlotte yelling and Ronda going on with her run-on sentences, with her big words that make no sense, whatsoever.”