WWE announce back on April 15 that, due to the coronavirus pandemic, a series of cost-cutting measures would be made that would result in employees getting either furloughed or let go. Office employees, backstage producers, on-screen personalities, announcers, referees and Performance Center trainers all would up getting furloughed, while more than 30 active wrestlers were handed pink slips. Most of them haven't hinted at what they'll do next and the 90-day no-compete clause in their contracts will keep the majority of them from wrestling anywhere else until mid-July, but it sounds like a few of them might already be on their way back to the company.
Bryan Alvarez reported on the latest Wrestling Observer Live that WWE has already reached out to several former Superstars offering them new contracts, but was unable to give names. However he pointed out that the new deals are "renewal offers," and that the money is so low they could actually make more if they chose another promotion.
Since the initial wave of releases, many of the free agent wrestlers have talked about what they plan to do next, while some have gone so far as to start teasing which company they'll land with next. Impact Wrestling teased a group of them to appear at Slammiversary in an advertisement this week, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows have teased jumping back to New Japan Pro Wrestling, Matt Cardona (Zack Ryder) has hinted at challenging Cody Rhodes for the AEW TNT Championship, Lio Rush has claimed he might be done with wrestling, Deonna Purrazzo has already been featured in a vignette on Impact programming and EC3 has released a string of videos showing off his new look and persona.
The one major exception in the group is Drake Maverick, who has continued to appear in WWE without a contract while competing in the interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship tournament. He'll face El Hijo Del Fantasma in the tournament finals on this week's edition of NXT.
Despite being let go from his backstage producer role, WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle popped up on WWE programming twice last week to help promote Matt Riddle's jump to the SmackDown brand. He then confirmed in interviews that he was offered to come back and be Riddle's manager, but turned it down for personal reasons.
"WWE offered me a job to manage Matt Riddle," Angle told Sports Illustrated. "Unfortunately, I turned it down. I just have so much going with my business, Physically Fit Nutrition, and I need to make sure it succeeds before I do anything else."