NXT released over a dozen wrestlers Friday, August 7 in a regular, yet shocking move. Fightful has inquired about the releases to high level WWE officials, of which one spoke under the condition of anonymity.
The official noted to us that in 2018, the company entered a "talent stashing" mode with what everyone assumed were honest intentions. Fightful was told that many pitches involved collecting talent, developing Performance Centers worldwide, and supplementing each Performance Center with native and international talent, with some traveling between global territories. Within a year, the source told us, they could see the brakes being pumped on that and talent being "parked," with an enhanced focus going to launching NXT on USA. Once that happened, the pandemic occurred shortly after, and everything came to a screeching halt.
The official both expressed extreme frustration, coupled with explaining the line of thinking from a corporate aspect. Despite the outward frustration, the "it's business" line of thinking is privately put forth within the company, even to Fightful, by several.
When asking the source who the releases fall on, they noted that "Vince McMahon can personally put a stop to any of these," but the calls are a collaborative effort. The source confirmed that WWE releases are going to be a regular occurance moving forward, but says that they personally expect 2021 to be an outlier with both the frequency and the level of talent. They also stated to their recollection, "mass releases" hadn't been a real discussion or concern within WWE for nearly four years, between the Summer of 2016 and the start of 2020.
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