During the months of the pandemic - which began in March last year - WWE released a total of 52 superstars and countless behind-the-scenes insiders. News of the latest layoffs came while the SmackDown episode was airing. Sean Ross Sapp, the well-known correspondent for 'Fightful', revealed that the Stamford federation has decided to end the working relationship with Bobby Fish, Bronson Reed, Jake Atlas, Ari Sterling, Kona Reeves, Stephon Smith, Mercedes Martinez, Zechariah Smith, Asher Hale, Leon Ruff, Giant Zanjeer and Asher Hale.
The wrestling landscape has changed a lot from a few years ago. All Elite Wrestling has become one of the leading American companies, not forgetting the rise of IMPACT Wrestling in recent months. Andrade was one of the first wrestlers to be released by WWE this year and made his AEW debut in June.
The same fate befell Aleister Black, who defeated Cody Rhodes in the AEW Dynamite main event this week. During the latest episode of 'Smack Talk' on Sportskeeda, former WWE manager Dutch Mantell spoke at length about the recent layoffs.
WWE has released other superstars
“What do I think about the release of so many superstars? Vince McMahon cares about the right. At the end of the day, don't forget that he has been involved in this business for 50 years.
Releasing an athlete is certainly nothing new for someone like him and most of the boys have job opportunities in this historical phase. Obviously, the AEW represents the great alternative for everyone” - explained Dutch Mantell.
“Having made more money than was imaginable during this pandemic, should he be worried for some reason? I think he has some important projects in store for the future, even if I don't know exactly what it is” - he added.
Mantell also took the opportunity to pay homage to Bobby Eaton, who passed away earlier this week. “I read the news that Bobby stopped breathing in his sleep, I have known him for over 40 years. The nicest guy he ever met”.
According to WWE sources, Adam Cole has also been told that he is wanted on the main roster, and there are high chances of the superstar extending his stay in the company. The NXT Triple Crown Champion's WWE contract came to an end recently, and a deal was agreed upon for him to compete through SummerSlam.
Adam Cole does not have a long-term contract with WWE, and Vince McMahon seemingly hopes to convince the superstar to sign another deal.