WWE’s systematic pattern of mass releases has once again reared its ugly head as another quarter has come and gone.
Key employees of the WWE Performance Center, and notable NXT stars, have been cut as the promotion continues its aggressive move into a new era—both in terms of NXT and when it comes to a possible future sale.
WWE has reportedly released the following per Fightful:
WWE Releases NXT Talent, Performance Center Staff | January 5, 2022
- Danny Burch
- Timothy Thatcher
- Hideki Suzuki
- William Regal
- Cathy Corino
- Scott Armstrong
- Hideki Suzuki
- George Carroll
- Ryan Katz
- Dave Kapoor
- Road Dogg
- Ace Steel
WWE released the following statement regarding its most recent cuts:
“With the continued evolution of NXT 2.0, we’ve decided to part ways with some of the staff based in our Performance Center. We thank them for their many contributions throughout the years and wish them the best.”
Talent and front-office cuts have become the new normal in a new WWE led by Chief Financial Officer Nick Khan. Over 80 WWE Superstars were released in 2021, and with WWE’s Q4 2021 earnings report likely to be held within the next few weeks, its latest cuts have directly impacted WWE NXT.
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NXT 2.0 aired its New Year’s Evil special last night. Prior to the main event, new NXT champion Bron Breakker ominously kicked a Styrofoam golden “X” in half, further signifying a new beginning for WWE’s embattled developmental territory.
Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics recently reported WWE finished 2021 with the lowest amount of Google
In regard to a potential sale, which will continue to be the elephant in the room with every round of budget cuts, former WWE writer Freddie Prinze Jr. recently claimed WWE offered to sell the product to Fox.
“I haven’t said this before, but I’ll say it now because it has been long enough,” Prinze Jr. said on his “Wrestling with Freddie” podcast.
“I was talking to a dude who was interviewing to be their COO, or they wanted to interview. They ended up going with Nick Khan, he had passed but he wanted to talk to me about the company. So we were just talking about the brand and all this, and he goes ‘yeah, they wanted us to buy the whole product.’ He’s an exec at FOX. He goes ‘they wanted us to buy the whole brand but the number they wanted wasn’t a number we were going to pay, so we licensed SmackDown instead.’”
Khan continues to maintain WWE is open for business, however this doesn’t necessarily mean the promotion is active in shopping for a sale.
“We’re open for business on anything and everything, and even some of the business plans that we’ve announced recently, I think, are different or unique to what the company has traditionally done,” Khan told Peter Kafka of Recode Media.
“So we’re open for business. If somebody calls, we’ll listen, but we’re not active. We’re not out in the marketplace trying to change that structure.”
With so many key staffers and wrestlers gone from WWE, anybody with a hint of the old era of NXT should have cause for concern. With WWE reportedly considering a shorter leash for new recruits, their jobs shouldn’t be considered safe either.