WWE released a slew of superstars on Thursday, with Peyton Royce, Billie Kay and Samoa Joe standing out from the names. It's far from the expansive cuts made after Wrestlemania a year ago, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Sean Rods Sapp from Fightful, the releases this year are being tied into budget cuts. John Laurinaitis has been the one behind making the calls to the released talent, citing the budget cuts as the reason behind the roster releases.
I'm told John Laurinaitis has been making the calls to talent and citing budget cuts as the reason for the WWE releases— Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com (@SeanRossSapp) April 15, 2021
WWE has released an official statement on the releases but did not address the reason behind the decision yet. It also isn't a decision that many fans are pleased with according to ComicBook, with some taking to Twitter to voice their unhappiness.
"I just feel like it's terrible that WWE says "budget cuts" to people that get released when those superstars know. Say it's a creative issue. Try to be more honest with people at least," TJR Wrestling's John Canton said. "WWE claiming 'budget cuts' when they have recently had the most profitable quarter in company history & just signed a billion dollar deal with Peacock," another upset fan wrote.
As pointed out, WWE did recently sign a billion-dollar deal with Peacock to combine their WWE Network content with the NBC Universal platform. They have also made big deals with Fox, USA Network and others for their weekly series, have saw profits across the pandemic landscape and just had a successful WrestleMania that spanned two nights.
2011 by the way pic.twitter.com/hiixRKERKy— Moh (@LilMhmdK) April 15, 2021
There is little word on if this is the valid reason for the cuts or if it is just the story WWE is going with at the time. There was also some backlash to WWE having Logan Paul and Bad Bunny at WrestleMania despite the supposed budget cuts that led to the cut talent.
"How much did [WWE] pay Bad Bunny? Bet that money would have saved jobs today," one disgruntled fan wrote. "How much you think WWE spent to bring in Logan Paul. I have a feeling they spent a lil too much that they had to let go [nine] people today," another wrote.