WWE is the latest franchise to feel the financial effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The latest cost saving measures Vince McMahon has handed down to the company include the release of several Superstars.
Following an internal conference held by WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon along with employees under the WWE promotion which was held today, Wednesday, April 15, 2020, McMahon addressed the changes to the talent and staffers. A public press release was issued by the company shortly thereafter.
Although the list seems to still continue to grow, a list of names have been released including (but not limited to): Kurt Angle, Drake Maverick, Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows (Drew Hankinson), Rowan (Joseph Ruud), Sarah Logan (Sarah Rowe), Aiden English (Matthew Rehwoldt), Lio Rush (Lionel Green), and Mike & Maria Kanellis to name a few.
The promotion also noted that “given the uncertainty of the situation, the Company also identified headcount reductions and made the decision to furlough a portion of its workforce effective immediately” which in layman’s terms means the company will reduce employee compensation. As wrestlers are independent contractors, it is unfortunate to point out that ceasing to pay them would affirm the end of their contract.
Many of the WWE Superstars felt the effects of the furloughs and releases, whether their name was on the list or not, their reactions were immediately felt and heard across social media. Several members, and former members, of WWE took to Twitter to voice their disdain:
— DRAKE MAVERICK (@WWEMaverick) April 15, 2020
— Bray Wyatt (@WWEBrayWyatt) April 15, 2020
Love you Fit
— $asha Banks (@SashaBanksWWE) April 15, 2020
TODAY FN SUCKS
— Tommy Dreamer (@THETOMMYDREAMER) April 15, 2020
To my brothers and sisters I’m sorry. Please remember. Life is change… it’s ever changing… A job can fill your bank account, but do what fills your soul! I love you. “When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor E. Frankl
— Mickie James~Aldis (@MickieJames) April 15, 2020
Love you Fit! Thank you for everything you have done not only for wrestlers as a whole but for us women at the WWE! You gave us strength and a voice when we didn’t have one! Thank you for always pushing me to raise my own bar and for some of the best memories of my life!❤️Nikki https://t.co/AQaBR0ejUO
— Nikki & Brie (@BellaTwins) April 15, 2020
awesome wrestlers lost their job today, in the midst of everything going on it may not mean a lot to you & that’s ok. But it means a lot to me. If you can, root for them, checkout their @PWTees page & @BookCameo
If u have a fav independent pro having a rough time, send their info
— Nic Nemeth (@HEELZiggler) April 15, 2020
Today sucks. To all my former co-workers, especially the ones losing their jobs right now, I love you all.
— CASH (@CashWheelerFTR) April 15, 2020