WWE's latest cost-cutting measure has not gone down well with the wrestlers and fans alike. The company opted to release a host of on-screen talents and other backstage members in order to cut their expenses during the lockdown. The likes of Kurt Angle, Rusev, Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows and several others were released by WWE and it is believed more superstars could be axed in the coming weeks.
The firing of Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows means AJ Styles is the only member of the stable OC left in the WWE. On Thursday, AJ Styles finally reacted to the WWE releases 2020 during a session on his stream on Mixer.
During his stream, AJ Styles clearly appeared saddened by the large number of superstars released during the pandemic. Styles said, "I wish I was a little bit more upbeat, but some crazy things have happened in the past couple of days that just s**ks, that's all I can say."
"That one hurt really bad," Styles added. "The only way I can explain it is that these guys are my family and I couldn't take care of my little brothers. I didn't manage to do that and I feel responsible for them being released. It's devastating."
AJ Styles, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows have all previously worked together before heading to WWE. The trio was the member for the popular faction 'Bullet Club' during their time in New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) and even had some great moments in WWE.
The release of Anderson and Gallows was the most surprising for fans as the two were heavily involved at WrestleMania 36 during AJ Styles' match against The Undertaker. The Boneyard match between Styles and Taker is considered at the best match of the two-day event and Gallows and Anderson were key in the success of the match.
"This stuff is expected with everything that's going on but I am as shocked as you are with some of the guys that got released," AJ Styles said.
Along with the likes of Kurt Angles, Rusev, Gallows and Anderson, no less than 20 superstars were released by the company on Wednesday. Drake Maverick, Zack Ryder, Curt Hawkins, Heath Slater, Eric Young, Rowan, Sarah Logan, No Way Jose, Mike Kanellis, Maria Kanellis, Ethan Carter III (EC3), Aiden English, Lio Rush, Primo, Epico and Mike Chioda (referee) were all released by WWE.