Shortly after the revelation that WWE has inked a new $1.4 billion agreement with NBCUniversal to bring SmackDown back to USA Network in 2024, the company announced a series of main roster layoffs. Wrestlers released include Riddick Moss, Aaliyah, Hit Row's Top Dolla, Elias, Mustafa Ali, Emma, Rick Boogs, Shelton Benjamin, and former world champion Dolph Ziggler. Additional NXT layoffs are anticipated to follow later today.
Fightful Select reports some roster members are frustrated with WWE for announcing the lucrative deal with NBCUniversal and then proceeding to release talents. According to one top star, many of those who were let go "barely had a chance," citing lack of bookings.
There are claims within the talent pool that WWE timed the roster cuts alongside the NBCUniversal announcement and the Elimination Chamber stadium show reveal in a bid to dilute the negative impact on the company. Some wrestlers have informed Fightful they believed the era of mass layoffs was behind them.
Sean Ross Sapp has subsequently confirmed that the majority of wrestlers released today are subject to the standard 90-day non-compete clause.
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