The WWE announced several stars would not be returning for future events, sparking a strong reaction from fans. The company cut almost a dozen superstars after last weekend's WrestleMania 37. The reasons for not bringing back Samoa Joe, Billie Kay, Peyton Royce, Mickie James, Chelsea Green, Tucker, Kalisto, Bo Dallas, and Wesley Blake were not spelled out, but the WWE wished them "all the best" for their careers.
"WWE has come to terms on the release of Samoa Joe, Billie Kay, Peyton Royce, Mickie James, Chelsea Green, Tucker, Kalisto, Bo Dallas, and Wesley Blake as of today, April 15, 2021," the company announced on Monday. "We wish them the best in all of their future endeavors." The company did not make any further comments.
The decision came just a few days after the enormously successful WrestleMania 37 event at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. It was the first event where fans were allowed, with 25,276 fans in the stands. Fans sat in socially distanced pods and masks were required. The stadium was also outfitted with cashless concessions and enhanced sanitation reports Variety. The event saw a record 1.1 billion video views from various platforms and social media channels, a 14% jump over the previous year. WrestleMania 37 was also the first WWE event since the company struck a deal with NBCUniversal's Peacock. WWE did not release audience numbers for the platform.
Billie Kay is the living proof that WWE IS biased. It doesn't matter how over you get, how much you construct your own gimmick and make your own opportunities and make gold out of nothing. It's still all in their power.— TAMANIA 🇵🇹 (@stratustacia) April 15, 2021
The veterans released from the WWE this year have all been with the company for years. Samoa Joe joined the WWE in 2015 and recently transitioned to color commentator after a series of injuries. Billie Kay and Peyton Royce were a tag team, first debuting together on NXT television in 2016. Mickie James made her WWE debut in 2005 and is a nine-time Women's World Champion.prevnext
Tucker signed with the WWE in 2013, while Chelsea Greene made early appearances with the WWE back in 2014 before joining NXT in 2018. Kalisto is a two-time WWE U.S. Championship winner and signed with the WWE in 2013. Bo Dallas is a third-generation pro wrestler who joined the WWE in 2008. Wesley Blake signed with the WWE in 2013.prevnext
"Yall broke up this tag team. What came out of it?" one frustrated fan wrote. "Billie being released. Peyton being put into a nonsensical tag team with Lacey Evans for it to get nowhere. They broke up this tag team for no reason and nothing good came out of it. This is so sad."
"Same with Tucker. Broke up a popular team just to end up releasing him. Totally mismanaged the Iconics," another noted.prevnext
What are you doing WWE... Peyton Royce Billie Kay Mickie James Samoa Joe . All one of the best in the roster have been released pic.twitter.com/l1RVQuwcrJ— TANISHQ (@shivam_tanishq) April 15, 2021
"What the f— is wrong with this company," one fan bluntly wrote. "What are you doing WWE... Peyton Royce Billie Kay Mickie James Samoa Joe . All one of the best in the roster [has] been released," another wrote.prevnext
You didn’t even give Tucker a chance you split him up with Otis for no reason then he’s never to be seen again .... pic.twitter.com/rygQuG6fMj— Moreen (@eastfan16) April 15, 2021
"Velveteen Dream, Matt Riddle, Jordan Devlin, and Jaxson Ryker are still employed by your company but you guys release people who are legitimately over. What the f— is wrong with y’all," one fan complained. "IMAGINE having Samoa Joe on your roster and letting him go! What a waste," another wrote.prevnext
YOU COULDNT KEEP SAMOA JOE ON COMMENTARY??????? pic.twitter.com/3k8OZLcj4O— ✧･ﾟ:* Chyna *:･ﾟ✧ (@peraltiago74) April 15, 2021
"They just used Samoa Joe on television literally at Wrestlemania, I know it's their spring cleaning and the other ones don't surprise me too much or at all but goddamn Joe, Billie, and James really?? It's not bad I know they'll be put on other programs but they were just on TV," one longtime fan wrote. "Samoa Joe, one of the best in-ring talents of his generation has been released by WWE, yet so many less talent wrestlers are employed by the company," another noted.prev