WWE's more than over two-dozen cuts of talent and other employees sent shock waves throughout the entire wrestling industry.
On his After 83 Weeks podcast with Christy Olsen, Eric Bischoff reacted to the layoffs noting that the release of Rusev was the most surprising to him as Rusev had been in a featured position when he was last seen on television.
“I think Rusev was probably the biggest name on the list,” he began. “That surprised me a little bit. He's been gone for a long time. He's still a little bit of a fresh character. I don't know what the backstory is with him. What the situation is with him. Perhaps his contract was coming up anyway. I don't know. There are so many things I don't know. I don't want to comment on it. That was the one name that I meant was a pretty big name who's recently been fairly active on the roster. I was a little bit surprised at that.”
Continuing on, Eric was asked about what factors he thinks could have come into play when deciding who would be released. Eric, who was the initial choice to be the Executive Director of Friday Night SmackDown, offered his take on who could have been in the meeting making these decisions and what factors were ultimately looked upon when deciding who to let go.
“I would say I haven't talked to anybody today in WWE or any of my friends that work there. I haven't had a conversation in over a week now with anybody there, so I have no idea what the process was. But I would imagine it was a consensus. I would imagine that there was a group of people, including Paul Heyman and Bruce Prichard, obviously Vince and others who got together and probably looked at a lot of different categories. 'Who are we using? What was the last time we saw wrestler X on television? What do you mean we haven't used them in six months, why are they still on the payroll? We can't afford that luxury anymore.' Perhaps merchandising did factor into it. Although I doubt that was a big factor. I'm sure there were any number of them, probably, 'how close are we to some of these contracts coming up anyway?', as I mentioned earlier, with regard to Rusev.”
To see a full list of talents released, click here.
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