Wednesday is a day that will long be remembered for transactions.
No, I don’t mean legendary Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski announcing that he will retire after the 2021-22 hoop season or the major shakeups with the Boston Celtics.
I am talking about the WWE releases that left the pro wrestling world shaking at its core.
Late Wednesday morning, word broke that WWE had released Braun Strowman, Aleister Black, Ruby Riot, Murphy, Lana and Santana Garrett.
No one saw these releases coming and several people have put the heat on WWE President and Chief Revenue officer Nick Khan.
Strowman was hand-chosen by Vince McMahon to be a major star for the company, but awful booking did the big man in.
Yes, he won the Universal championship from Goldberg at WrestleMania 36, but the win came after he lost countless title matches to the likes of Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns.
Strowman may be the poster child for McMahon’s desire to not build stars and have most wrestlers win and lose an even amount of matches.
In 2019, Strowman signed a multiyear, multi-million dollar deal and less than two years later, he will be looking elsewhere for work.
Black was a surprise as he just attacked Big E last week on Smackdown.
Big things were forecasted for Black, and trust me, he will be a star regardless of whether he ends up in AEW, Impact, Japan or elsewhere.
Riot was one of the more underutilized female performers and she, too, will find work quickly as will Lana.
Lana will more than likely end up in AEW with her husband, Miro.
Murphy is another talented performer who can go in the ring and he will strengthen someone’s midcard.
Garrett was to make her Smackdown debut this past Friday.
Wednesday night, John Laurinatis sent a mass text out to the Raw and Smackdown rosters stating that the reason for releases was budget cuts.
This reasoning has people shaking their heads as WWE is making more money that ever thanks to its billion-dollar TC deals with Fox and NBCUniversal as well as its streaming deal with the Peacock Network.
Talking to a few people who are successful in the business world, they each said that moves like WWE made last week and then again Wednesday may be to better position WWE to be sold.
Or, as one said, Khan and WWE Chief Financial Officer Kristina Salen may be trying to balance out some bad decisions by those who previously held their respective positions.
At one point in 2020, WWE had 300 wrestlers under contract and less than a third were featured on TV.
So, could WWE really be for sale?
If the company is on the market for potential buyers like Universal, Disney or Comcast, then it will have to explain the abysmal editions of Raw every Monday night.
WWE’s classless move
Sunday afternoon, WWE released a video of a Nia Jax match from July 2016 in Pittsburgh.
The dark match was before Raw aired, and it showed Jax destroying a local talent who was working her way up the ranks of the professional wrestling world.
That talent, as of Sunday night, is the new AEW women’s champion, Britt Baker, DDS.
WWE has had the footage for almost five years and it chooses the day Baker was going to win the AEW title to air it?
Classless move by WWE.
Baker is from Punxsutawney and while I have never met her, a few of my friends have known her for years and say she is truly one of the hardest workers in the business.
WWE had a chance to sign Baker, Adam Cole’s longtime girlfriend, and one can only wonder how upset Cole was to find out WWE aired that match.
With that said, Baker is a star and is going to keep growing.
Check out her promo from the May 28 edition of Dynamite as it was tremendous.
While I wont give away what she said, she used a line that will resonate for years.
Henry sings with AEW
Last Sunday at AEW’s Double Or Nothing PPV, WWE Hall of Famer and former World champion Mark Henry made his first AEW appearance.
Henry has signed with the company to be an announcer when AEW’s new Friday night show, Rampage, debuts on August 13.
WWE, Cardi B teaming “Up”
WWE announced that Cardi B’s song “Up” is the official theme song for SummerSlam. There is also word that she will be the host of the event.
This Day in History
In 1993, Shawn Michaels defeated Marty Jannetty, his former tag team partner, to regain the Intercontinental title. Jannetty had upset Michaels for the belt 20 days earlier.
This week’s question
WWE has been on a constant decline in the last 10 years. Why has WWE not found that new talent that is the face of (the company)? Are the wrestling shows put on by AEW, TNA and Ring of Honor drawing fans away from WWE, just like WCW and ECW back in the day? Tomas from Lake Lynn.
Great questions, Tomas! WWE has not found that new talent simply because Vince McMahon does not want there to be one star.
He feels WWE as a brand is bigger than any one person, but it has become obvious to fans that the product has suffered because of there not being a main talent.
The shows by AEW and the other promotions are not drawing fans away from WWE. In my eyes, the product that McMahon puts out is what has harmed WWE and will continue to do so as long as he is in charge.
Much like McMahon’s father was outdated towards the end of his run before Vince bought him out, Vince has been harming his own product for years now.
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