WWE announced on Friday night that the company had officially released Zelina Vega (real name Thea Budgen) from her WWE contract. In a statement on WWE.com the promotion wrote, "WWE has come to terms on the release of Zelina Vega. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors." The move will undoubtedly come as a shock, as Vega had been a staple of the Monday Night Raw roster for a large portion of 2020 while managing the likes of Andrade and Angel Garza. She signed with WWE back in June 2017 and initially appeared as Andrade's manager in NXT. Together the pair were brought up to the main roster in April 2018.
In recent months the 29-year-old had transitioned away from managing into becoming a full-time wrestler. She challenged Asuka for the Raw Women's Championship twice in September (including the Clash of Champions pay-per-view), then was moved to SmackDown as part of the 2020 Draft. Her last WWE match took place on Nov. 6 in a triple treat against Ruby Riott and Natalya on SmackDown.
Vega commented on her release via her social media and Twitch accounts later in the evenin.
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
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
"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 (h/t Fightful for transcript). "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."