WWE released over a dozen NXT stars, including Bobby Fish (ex-Undisputed Era member) and North American Champion Bronson Reid Reed. But the WWE’s 2021 firing spree might not end there.
Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com was the first to report the news of WWE’s latest mass release, which brings the total number of stars the company has let go in 2021 to nearly 50 and the total number of stars WWE has axed since last April to more than 100. Desmond Troy, a fellow NXT star would be later added to the “future endeavored” list. Andrew Zarian from Mat Men Podcast adds that more release are possible:
The latest WWE mass release follows a trend that WWE began to remove superstars regularly in April 2020. WWE has since axed many top performers, such as Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman, and also cleaned house in NXT which is both a development territory and a brand.
It has been widely speculated that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon is releasing superstars to reduce costs and prepare for the sale. But Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston (h/t Comic Book) revealed back in June that many WWE investors were not under the impression that McMahon would be selling WWE: “I talked with 5 people in the WWE investor community in the last 24 hours about the notion that the company’s recent actions indicate they’re preparing for a sale. None of them believed so.
According to PWInsider (h/t WrestlingNews.co), the NXT releases are more so related to a planned overhaul of the NXT brand as a whole: “PWInsider noted on their audio show this week that there has been talk of major changes coming for the NXT brand. These changes include new branding, lighting and an emphasis on young talent. They also change the format of the show. Housecleaning is part of those changes.
NXT was once the most booked brand in WWE. But, that hasn’t changed much over the last year. NXT lost its “Wednesday Night War” to AEW Dynamite. Since then, it moved to Tuesday nights. However, it’s quality has declined as some of the biggest brand names, including Keith Lee, Bianca Belair, and Finn Balor, have moved up to the main roster.
NXT has lost its aura and has become another show in the WWE’s money-making machine. AEW, however, has enjoyed a hot streak of ratings while the viewership has remained low. It’s clear that AEW’s success may be a factor in NXT’s future changes. However, WWE has buyer’s remorse for having spent years hoarding talent to stop them leaving the company.
WrestlingNews.co adds, “Officials in the company realize that the NXT brand has gotten stale and the look and feel of the show needed to change.” WWE releasing so many NXT superstars indeed feels like a way to start a makeover of the brand, even though that–from a financial perspective–is an unnecessary move.
The company remains incredibly profitable, and given its lucrative TV deals for Raw and SmackDown as well as the WWE Network’s recent move to Peacock, there is little cause for concern about the company’s financial future. WWE has made a practice of mass-releasing, even though some of its biggest stars, like Wyatt and Strowman, have been unable avoid being axed.
NXT is now being hit by WWE’s release frenzy. Many of the new stars are likely to make a big splash in other countries.Publited Sat, 07 August 2021 at 15:05:08 +0000