Multiple Released WWE Stars Returned to Action in Other Companies on Saturday Night

WWE has released well over 100 wrestlers since the start of 2020, and while most of them are no longer held down by the 90-day "No Compete" clauses in their WWE contracts many of them still haven't found new homes in other promotions. But on Saturday night three different released WWE stars made noticeable appearances for other companies. Starting off with Taya Valkyrie, who popped up via a video promo at Lucha Libre AAA's Triplemania Regia 2 and challenged current Reina de Reinas Champion Deonna Purrazzo. Valkyrie, going by Franky Monet in WWE, wrestled just six matches in NXT before being let go last month. 

Valkyrie was once the centerpiece of AAA's women's division. She holds the record for most combined days as Reina de Reinas Champion with 1,544 days across three reigns. 

Meanwhile, the National Wrestling Alliance hosted its Hard Times 2 pay-per-view inside the GPB Studios in Atlanta. Fandango, now going by Dirty Dango, made a surprise appearance alongside JTG and started down La Rebelion after they retained the NWA Tag Team Championships. The former NXT Tag Team Champion was cut over the summer, bringing his 15-year run with the promotion to an end. The 38-year-old has wrestled 11 times since being let go in promotions like NEW, Limitless and WrestlePro.

Finally, there's Scarlett Bordeaux, who had the most active night of the three. "The Smokeshow," fresh off her 30-day "No Compete" clause from her NXT contract ending. On Saturday night she managed Action Andretti for his match against James Ellsworth at MCW's Seasons Beatings and nailed King McBride with a low blow and a Canadian Destroyer. 

Budget cuts have been consistently cited as the official reason why so many wrestlers have been let go in the past two years. WWE president Nick Khan commented on the releases during a SummerSlam weekend interview with Ariel Helwani

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"I don't know that there's one explanation for it," Khan said. "I think ultimately what's looked at is, is this person — for us — going to move the needle now, or in the imminent future. So, by the way, we had a tryout, a two-day tryout in Las Vegas which ended yesterday. Which Triple H, and Johnny Laurinaitis, and Bruce Prichard were all across, as were the rest of us. We've signed over a dozen new talent coming out of that tryout. And I'm not suggesting, "Oh that's why we cut the other talent." But we're always looking for what's next. We live in the present, we live in the future. We don't live in the past. So when people leave, and they move on with their life and their careers? That's good by us. For us, it's what works for us and our product at that moment in time, and again, what's gonna work down the road. And largely in part the existing roster is based on that."