WWE has released several Superstars from Monday Night RAW and Friday Night Smackdown last month. This included the likes of Braun Strowman, Aleister Black, Lana, Ruby Riott, Santana Garrett, and Buddy Murphy. The reason cited was part of budget cuts, and Strowman was being paid $1.2 million per year according to The Wrestling Observer Newsletter. The former WWE Universal Champion signed a new contract in October 2019, so the budget cut regarding Strowman is the WWE’s biggest saving financially from all of the talent cuts in the last year plus during the pandemic. Jim Ross also recently ruined Aleister Black’s AEW debut.
Aleister Black would eventually make his way to AEW and is now known as Malakai Black. Black recently spoke with Metal Injection, and revealed that his wife Zelina Vega started crying when she came to know about him being fired from WWE.
“It’s funny, but as soon as I got released, my wife started crying,” Black recalled. “And I actually started laughing because they built me up for 5-6 weeks, they made me come back [to SmackDown], and now they’re pulling me off TV again? I just couldn’t take the whole situation seriously anymore. I realized that this was not worth it anymore. I felt huge relief and just started laughing, and I immediately knew that was the feeling of freedom, and not having to deal with it anymore.”
h/t to WrestlingInc for the transcription.