WWE Fires 28 Wrestlers After Being Named “Essential Business”

WWE has released dozens of wrestlers and backstage talent in a cost saving measure they'd like to blame on coronavirus. But it isn't about that.

WWE's Vince McMahon laughing
Photo: WWE

WWE sacrificed 28 wrestlers and backstage talent on Wednesday all in the name of WWE’s stock.

That sounds crude, but it’s true.

WWE announced today that 28 individuals were fired. More full-time employees would be furloughed or laid off and construction on the company’s new headquarters has halted as well. The savings for WWE is about $4 million per month, they bragged in a press release.

That $4 million per month sounds like a lot … until you realize WWE has $90 million in cash on hand and has upwards of $500 million available if they maximized everything and extended all of their credit lines.

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The cuts were, of course, blamed on coronavirus.

But make no mistake about it, these cuts were made for one reason and one reason only … to protect WWE’s stock price. The moves were made to protect profit margin. It affected a lot of lower-card talents, some of whom were signed to big-money deals in the last year as WWE tried to hoard talent and keep them away from AEW. But now, when the going got tough, WWE just cut them loose.

That’s heartless.

But WWE doesn’t have a heart. Neither does Disney, which axed a huge portion of its workforce this week as well. WWE could afford to keep those people on payroll for another month. Heck, they could technically afford to keep them all on payroll for almost two years. They chose not to.

In what I’m sure is not a coincidence, WWE has an earnings call scheduled for next week to review first-quarter financials. At least now Vince McMahon can tell his shareholders that the company is “doing all that it can” to protect the stock price, and use these cuts as an example.

The WWE talent cuts included the following people …

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  • Kurt Angle
  • Rusev (Miroslav Barnyashev)
  • Drake Maverick (James Curtin)
  • Zack Ryder (Matthew Cardona)
  • Curt Hawkins (Brian Myers)
  • Karl Anderson (Chad Allegra)
  • Luke Gallows (Drew Hankinson)
  • Heath Slater (Heath Miller)
  • Eric Young (Jeremy Fritz)
  • Erick Rowan (Joseph Ruud)
  • Sarah Logan (Sarah Rowe)
  • No Way Jose (Levis Valenzuela)
  • Mike Chioda (referee)
  • Mike Kanellis (Mike Bennett)
  • Maria Kanellis
  • EC3 (Michael Hutter)
  • Aiden English (Matthew Rehwoldt)
  • Lio Rush (Lionel Green)
  • Primo (Edwin Colon)
  • Epico (Orlando Colon Nieves)
  • Billy Kidman (backstage producer)
  • Mike Rotunda (backstage producer)
  • Pat Buck (backstage producer)
  • Fit Finlay (backstage producer)
  • Shawn Daivari (backstage producer)
  • Scott Armstrong (backstage producer)
  • Shane Helms (backstage producer)
  • Lance Evers (Lance Storm) (backstage producer)

We’ll keep you updated as there are more developments.