Exactly one year after WWE released more than 20 active wrestlers due to cost-cutting during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company announced a list of wrestlers that they would be cutting ties with on Thursday. The biggest names included Samoa Joe, both members of The IIconics, Mickie James and Kalisto. You can see the full list below. We'll continue to update in case any more names are added.
WWE's next pay-per-view, WrestleMania Backlash, is scheduled for May 16, 2021 inside the WWE ThunderDome.
The former TNA and Ring of Honor World Champion had been dealing with several injuries over the past couple of years. He had his first run as Raw's color commentator in November 2019 while recovering from a broken thumb. He returned to action in late December and got involved in the Kevin Owens/Seth Rollijns storyline, only to be out of action once again in February while suffering a reported concussion during a commericial shoot. He became a consistent member of the Raw commentary team beginning in late April and stayed in that position all the way up through WrestleMania.
They really should of never gave me money.— Samoa Joe (@SamoaJoe) April 15, 2021
The WWE split up the popular IIconics tag team last year when the pair lost a tag match against The Riott Squad at Payback. Kay was then drafted over to SmackDown and started a new gimmick where she presented her resume with people to try and be hired by them. She was briefly with the Riott Squad as a result, and was also in the five-time Women's Tag Team Turmoil match at WrestleMania 37 with Carmella as her partner.prevnext
Royce had a bit more luck that Kay on Raw, mostly in her reluctant tag team with Lacey Evans. She made headlines recently with a fiery promo on Raw Talk that led to a non-title match with Asuka on the March 22 episode of Raw. She lost, and was promptly pushed into the background again as Rhea Ripley made her debut.prevnext
Grateful for the memories. Grateful for the locker room. Grateful for the fans. Grateful for these little keys to my golden handcuffs. You can never expected others vision of you to be big as your own dreams. Thank you @VinceMcMahon #AlwaysBlessedAndGrateful— Mickie James~Aldis (@MickieJames) April 15, 2021
Green was called up from NXT to the main roster in May 2020, but her plans for arriving on Raw were scrapped and it left her in limbo backstage. She finally made her debut on SmackDown on November 13 in a four-way match with Liv Morgan, Natalya and Tamina but suffered a broken wrist during the bout. During her recovery Green signed a new three-year deal with the company.
Welcome back, it’s been a while. 💄 pic.twitter.com/AsAuhy6RdL— CHELSEA GREEN (@ImChelseaGreen) April 15, 2021
Freedom baby!!— TUCKy (@tuckerwwe) April 15, 2021
Tucker turned heel on his tag partner Otis at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view last year, costing the big man his Money in the Bank contract to The Miz. He wrestled just four matches following his heel turn, most recently in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal last Friday.prevnext
As a former United States, Crusierweight and NXT Tag Team Champion, Kalisto was one of the most decorated wrestlers to be let go. He was split from the Lucha House Party as part of the 2020 WWE Draft but only wrestled one time as a singles competitor on SmackDown — the Andre battle royal.prevnext
After Jaxson Ryker's controversial comments got The Forgotten Sons taken off of television Wesley Blake and Steve Cutler would not appear on WWE programming again until they were hired as henchmen for King Corbin as The Knights of the Lone Wolf. Cutler was then cut on Feb. 4, and Blake was off television once again.prevnext
The former NXT Champion had not wrestled inside of a WWE ring since Nov. 13, 2019.prevnext
Rawley's release came later in the day from the rest of the group. The former 24/7 Champion had not appeared on WWE television since June 2020 on an episode of SmackDown.prev