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WWE Cuts Ties With Four NXT Wrestlers – More Releases Expected To Be Revealed

With WWE on the verge of signing new developmental talent to coincide with the launch of its Performance Center in Winter Park, Florida, multiple talents situated in the developmental system were released today.

It has been confirmed that Derrick Bateman, Briley Pierce, Sakamoto and Audrey Marie were among those let go by WWE on Friday.

Bateman announced on his Twitter account that he is now available for independent bookings and then adding, “Welp see ya later @wwe @WWEUniverse #itsfine.”

Pierce, who is the brother of WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler, stated on his account, “I guarantee that was the funniest and most entertaining “You’re released” phone call in WWE history. Bye, everybody!”

Sakamoto thanked WWE on his account for doing business with him, writing, “#WWE #NXT my friend thank you for everything SAYONARA.”

Though Marie has yet to publicly address her standing with WWE, confirms that she has been let go. She had been under contract to WWE since 2011 and was a fixture in the developmental system’s women’s division.

Bateman, who had been under contract to WWE since 2008, appeared on the final season of NXT before the program was transferred to Florida. He last appeared on WWE programming late last year, and had been making infrequent appearances for NXT.

Briley had been under a developmental contract to WWE since 2011, the highlight of which was a Florida Tag Team Championship reign with Brad Maddox. He was shifted to the role of backstage interviewer for NXT last June, though would still continue to compete. However, he lost the majority of his matches from that point on.

Sakamoto was paired with Tensai last year before being demoted to developmental in November. Having been trained by Taka Michinoku at his Kaientai Dojo wrestling school in Japan, he joined WWE’s developmental system in 2011.

According to, at least two additional names are expected to be revealed as being no longer under contract to WWE.


  • adam

    Most of them i saw comming but i was suprised by Audrey Marie’s realse. Batmen sakamoto and briley pearce really werent doing anything. Briley was just an announcer and ref at times so his loss wasng a big deal. Batman wasnt on nxt consistantly and sakamoto was a jobber. Audrey Marie was actually a big part of there newly built up divas division in nxt. I could see them resigning her soon.

  • Daniel Schein

    Letting Bateman go was a huge mistake for WWE. At worst he had the the personality and mic skills to be a very popular comedic act like a Santino or Ryder and had a chance to be a main event star. Not the best wrestler in the development system, but he was near the top and again had the charisma to get over. Sakamoto was never going to do much in WWE, and they already have a resident Asian jobber in Tatsu. Dolph’s brother wasn’t ready yet, but they may give him a shot down the line. Bateman would be a good pick up for TNA.

  • Will Henderson

    it sucks for those four, but i see Sakamoto getting better use in Japan by one of the japanese promotions while Bateman, they dropped the ball on him, i see him being hired by TNA or ROH, and Audrey could end up an TNA Knockout anyway while Briley despite being the brother of the World Heavyweight Champion, couldn’t succeed in the WWE. he’ll end up in TNA via TNA Gut Check and most likely gonna end up in OVW for more seasoning to be apart of the TNA Main roster or he’ll join ROH.

    WWE’s lost is TNA, ROH and Japan’s gain