Report: Backstage News On WWE Releases
Multiple released Superstars were told they wouldn't be let go a couple of months ago
Samoa Joe, Mojo Rawley, Mickie James, Tucker, Kalisto, Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, Wesley Blake, Bo Dallas and Chelsea Green were all released by WWE yesterday, exactly one year after the company's last set of mass releases.
More details about the Superstars' releases have started to emerge, courtesy of Fightful Select. News of cuts originally went around backstage a couple of months ago, and when a number of people who were cut yesterday asked about their future, they were told they weren't going to be let go. One wrestler told Fightful "it's just an annual reminder that this is a company, not a family."
In regards to Samoa Joe, The Samoan Submission Machine expressed his desire to return to the ring earlier this week, but was not cleared to do so by WWE. Joe has been out of action since suffering back to back concussions in early 2020 and spent much of the last year as a colour commentator on Monday Night Raw. He was replaced by Corey Graves following WrestleMania 37, though.
Mickie James had also been vocal backstage about wanting to continue wrestling. Despite her being medically cleared to perform, WWE has not used the six-time women's champion in 2021 outside of a short stint in the women's Royal Rumble.
Bo Dallas was also one of the names released yesterday. He had been backstage at recent SmackDown shows, but WWE Creative had no plans for him. He'd begun to plan for life after WWE and reports back in February noted he had started a family real estate company with Liv Morgan. Dallas was involved with WrestleMania and was part of a test match on Friday, but he didn't portray The Fiend as some believed.
As previously noted, John Laurinaitis cited budget cuts when telling talent about their releases. All of the released Superstars are subject to 90-day non-compete clauses and can't sign anywhere else until July 14.