Friday Night SmackDown star Zelina Vega was officially released by the WWE on Friday, and the company has since shed some light on the situation regarding why they let the promising young star out of her contract. A WWE spokesperson confirmed to Sports Illustrated's Justin Barrasso that Vega (real name Thea Trinidad) "was terminated for breaching her contract." Said breach included her continuing to operate her Twitch channel as well as opening an OnlyFans account to post photos of various cosplay, swimsuit and lingerie outfits.
The report read, "WWE, specifically McMahon, considered this a breach of contract and responded by terminating Trinidad's contract. Sources close to WWE informed Sports Illustrated that, following discussions regarding Twitch, upper management felt Trinidad boxed them into a difficult situation by opening the OnlyFans account."
Vega appeared on her Twitch channel hours after the news broke, giving her first statement on the situation.
"To them, too, for letting some 4-foot-nothing Puerto Rican girl from Queens on that kind of a stage to work with her heroes," Vega said. "It's an incredible blessing, one that I'm always going to be thankful for. I have nothing bad to say, I know some of you might have come for that, but I have nothing bad to say. Just thank you."
I want to say thank you all very much for the last 3-4 years @WWEUniverse, it was incredible. I would have never have been able to say “this is for you dad” if certain people did not believe in me. I love you all and I couldn’t have done it without your support 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/R4fI9r64Vm— 𝓩𝖊𝖑𝖎𝖓𝖆 𝓥𝖊𝖌𝖆 (@Zelina_VegaWWE) November 14, 2020
Vega also mentioned that she has no plans of retiring from the business. Due to the 90-day "no compete" clauses in wrestlers' contracts, the 29-year-old will not be able to work for any major promotions until mid-February. Shortly after the news of the release broke, a report popped up stating Vega's husband, Aleister Back, had requested a move back to NXT.
Minutes before WWE.com confirmed her release, Vega posted a tweet stating she supported unionization. WWE has since confirmed the tweet was posted after she had been made of her release, not prior. The tweet, along with the news of the firing, has sparked support from pro-unionization groups.
We will continue to provide updates on the situation as more information becomes available.