In the major budget cuts related to the coronavirus pandemic, WWE released around 40 percent of its staff. WWE let go of a number wrestlers and producers including former United States Champion Rusev, Hall of Famer Kurt Angle, former WWE champion Zack Ryder, Erick Rowan and the O.C. (Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson), among others.
After the news went viral, fans took to Twitter and criticised the company. Several WWE superstars also took to social media saying that it is a ‘very dark day for WWE’. Despite the major cuts and criticism, WrestleVotes earlier revealed that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and his team are ready to let go "just about anyone" who wants to step back at this time.
Fans have failed to understand why Vince McMahon is taking these steps since, according to The Sun, WWE already had around $434 million (£400 million) in cash reserves when the pandemic began. Reports also suggested that after firing 21 superstars, WWE saved only $3.2 million (£3 million). Brock Lesnar ($10 million) the highest-earning WWE superstar, earns three times more than the 21 released superstars combined.
Speaking on the budget cuts, WWE announced that the organisation is taking various measures to improve its cash flow. WWE said the organisation is ‘reducing the salaries of executives and board members, decreasing operating expenses, cutting talent expenses, third party staffing and consulting, and deferring spending on the construction of the company's new headquarters for at least six months.’ Interestingly, there have been reports that Vince McMahon has put WWE up for sale, owing to his recent troubles. The WWE up for sale reports come as WWE and Vince McMahon are being hit with multiple class-action law-suits.
Drake Maverick, Curt Hawkins, Zack Ryder, Heath Slater, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, Rusev, No Way Jose, Sarah Logan, Mike Kanellis, Maria Kanellis, Aiden English, EC3, Lio Rush, Eric Young, Primo Colon, Epico Colon, Erick Rowan, Deonna Purrazzo (NXT), Aleksandar Jaksic (NXT), MJ Jenkins (NXT), Josiah Williams (NXT), Mike Chioda (Referee). Kurt Angle, Lance Storm, Mike Rotunda (IRS), Sarah Stock, Dave Finlay (Fit Finlay), Shane Helms (Hurricane), Pat Buck, Shawn Daivari, Scott Armstrong, Lance Storm
BREAKING: WWE has come to terms on the release of Drake Maverick (James Curtin), Curt Hawkins (Brian Myers), Karl Anderson (Chad Allegra), EC3 (Michael Hutter) and Lio Rush (Lionel Green). We wish them all the best in their future endeavors. https://t.co/cX449nNSLU— WWE (@WWE) April 15, 2020