Following Endeavor's acquisition of WWE, we'd heard the newly launched TKO Holdings (which also owns UFC) had plans for mass layoffs. Many of those who work behind the scenes have already been fired, but it was the turn of on-air talent earlier today.
A total of nine WWE Superstars have been released, and there are at least a few shockers. The biggest is former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler; despite not being featured on TV for quite some time, he's a veteran talent in the company but will no longer wrestle for them.
Shelton Benjamin's release puts an end to the possibility of The Hurt Business ever reuniting, though he too has only been used sporadically lately. Mustafa Ali, who has been vocal when it comes to his dissatisfaction with being a Middle Eastern talent in WWE, is also gone.
After becoming a subject of ridicule for a botched dive over the top rope on an episode of SmackDown, Hit Row's Top Dolla was also fired, as was Aliyah, a former NXT Superstar who was plagued by injuries on the main roster.
Rick Boogs' time is up as is Ridick Moss' and his real-life fiancee Emma (who Triple H brought back only to do absolutely nothing with her). Finally, perhaps the biggest head-scratcher is the release of Elias. Vince McMahon killed his gimmick by making him portray "Ezekiel," but there was still plenty of mileage in his original persona.
We're sure some of these wrestlers will now make the leap to AEW and it's possible at least some of them actually wanted to be released by WWE.
This news comes on a day when it's been confirmed SmackDown is moving from FOX to the USA Network and that next February's Elimination Chamber will be a stadium event taking place in Perth, Australia.
Here are the reactions we have so far:
TheRingReport.com, and/or the user who contributed this post, may earn commissions or revenue through clicks or purchases made through any third-party links contained within the content above.