During this unprecedented pandemic, we have witnessed virtually every form of sports unceremoniously halt operations. However, one organization has managed to stay alive. The WWE has continued to produce content weekly for fans across the globe. Although greatly modified, RAW, NXT, SmackDown!, and Wrestlemania has continued on. It looked as though Vince McMahon’s global giant would survive the coronavirus impact; especially after an incredible showing at Wrestlemania. However, in a matter of moments, the once seemingly invincible WWE has been affected greatly. Today, several of its superstars were informed they would be released.
At this time, we have learned that the WWE has released Drake Maverick (James Curtin), Curt Hawkins (Brian Myers), Karl Anderson (Chad Allegra), Luke Gallows (Drew Hankinson), Heath Slater (Heath Miller), Eric Young (Jeremy Fritz), EC3 (Michael Hutter) and Lio Rush (Lionel Green).
BREAKING: WWE has come to terms on the release of Drake Maverick (James Curtin), Curt Hawkins (Brian Myers), Karl Anderson (Chad Allegra), EC3 (Michael Hutter) and Lio Rush (Lionel Green). We wish them all the best in their future endeavors. https://t.co/cX449nNSLU— WWE (@WWE) April 15, 2020
Perhaps the most notable departure is legend and Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle. Between the WWF/WWE, Japan, and TNA, Angle has won 21 titles. The heavily decorated former champion, 51, retired last year at Wrestlemania 35. However, since then, he has served as a producer for the RAW brand.
I wanted 2 say thank you to the WWE for the time I spent there.I made many new friends and had the opportunity to work with so many talented people. To the Superstars, continue to entertain the WWE Universe as well as you possibly can. They’re the best fans in the world. #itstrue— Kurt Angle (@RealKurtAngle) April 15, 2020
In addition to current Superstars, it has been announced that the following producers have also been let go: Billy Kidman, Mike Rotunda, Pat Buck, Fit Finlay, Shawn Daivari, Scott Armstrong, Sarah Stock, Shane Helms, and Lance Storm. This is equally devastating for Storm. Last year, he decided to shut down operations of his heavily respected pro wrestling training school after 15 years to join forces with the WWE.
My best to all who, like me, lost their jobs today. To those still on the job, hold down the fort for us. It was my pleasure to work with you all these past 4 month. I hope we will all get a chance to work together again. Stay strong, stay safe.— Lance Storm (@LanceStorm) April 15, 2020
To everyone on Gods green earth. Thank you for the kind words. I’ve been doing this for 46 years(Wrestling)I pray you all get through this and we can share a hug and drink again. Stay healthy. (SD)— Fit Finlay (@ringfox1) April 15, 2020
It is unclear how much more the WWE will be affected. No clues as to which Superstar(s) will be released next, if any. Vince McMahon hopes that once this is successfully resolved that he can retain the services of his employees. Unfortunately, there is no way to give a timetable for this particular situation. Some of these names mentioned have been cut permanently and some were furloughed. We don’t have specifics as to who falls into which category. The furloughed employees will receive word from WWE Human Resources once it has come to a conclusion. This is just another stunning realization of how devastating the conronavirus pandemic can be.
I am a 2003 graduate from the University of Alabama with a degree in Exercise Science. While at the Capstone, I served as a student assistant with the head strength and conditioning coach of the Crimson Tide football team. I have competed in both powerlifting and bodybuilding for several years. In addition, I have served athletes and people through the arena of personal training. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. I am a passionate fan of Alabama, but do not make other fan bases miserable because of it. College football has my heart first, but I cover all areas of sports. Follow me on Twitter: @justinriley7!