Wednesday June 2, 2021 news broke of surprising cuts of more WWE superstars. “WWE has come to terms on the releases of Braun Strowman, Aleister Black, Lana, Murphy, Ruby Riott and Santana Garrett.” Many of us fans were taken by surprise. Why is WWE cutting so much talent at such a fast rate when their product is hurting for ratings?
There is speculation out there that says Vince and WWE are making these cuts in preparations to sell the company. I personally think it is deeper than that. I do not see Vince McMahon being ready to relinquish control of what he built. I see this as more talent being unhappy in their position and the company being forced to release them. Let’s break down the talent involved.
Last seen in the Women’s Royal Rumble in January, she was expected to make her debut on Smackdown recently. For some odd reason this never came to fruition and now she has been released. I’m sure she will pop up in another promotion to help build up their women’s division.
The main roster “creative” team has always struggled with giving Murphy storylines. I understand. It has to be difficult to write material for someone with talent. Murphy was given a glimmer of hope when he was paired with Seth Rollins until he was moved to being involved in a storyline with Rey Mysterio’s 18 year old daughter as his love interest. After seeing the backlash online, WWE quickly dropped that storyline and didn’t have anything else for Murphy. Last rumor was he was going to be paired with Wesley Blake to form a tag team in a division that could benefit from seeing more legitimate teams battling for the titles.
Last seen 2 weeks ago on Smackdown when he interfered in the Intercontinental title match between the champion Apollo, Big E, Sami Zayn, and Kevin Owens, Black was in the middle of setting up a feud with Big E. Instead of riding that momentum out to rebuild the character of the former NXT champion, the Smackdown creative team could not come up with a way to have this feud end and were told to stop making pitches for Black right before he was released. Much like Murphy, they only continued to fail to get things right with Black when he moved up from NXT.
Based on reactions, this is the most surprising release. Her and Liv Morgan have been working on capturing the Women’s Tag Team titles, and now that has come to a screeching halt. What is surprising is her talents are needed in the women’s division as both a legitimate tag team and another potential challenger for either the Raw or Smackdown Women’s championship. A solid worker like this will find a new home easily.
Another tag team split up in a division that needs legitimate teams. Lana and Naomi, much like the Riott and Morgan mentioned above were one of the 5 legitimate teams in the Women’s division before Lana was released. It doesn’t make much sense that her release is coming at a time where she is working hard to continue to improve her in ring skills. She has gone as far as requesting travel arrangements to match training schedules with Natalya and TJ.
Strowman was just involved in the triple threat match at WrestleMania Backlash with Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley for the WWE title 2 weeks ago and is now released from the company. His storylines always came across as inconsistent and random if you ask me. He went from having nothing before WrestleMania to feuding with Shane McMahon randomly. Then disappeared for a while, just to be inserted into the WWE title picture randomly, just to disappear again. Speculation is that this release was made to save the company 1 million dollars a year for his deal he signed in 2019 that would have lasted until 2023.
These seems like another case of WWE cutting off their nose to spite their face. All 6 superstars released today could have helped ratings a lot more than they were given the opportunity to do. Especially for Raw. With the right direction from the creative team, Strowman, Black, or Murphy could have been used in the hunt for the WWE title to keep it relevant, instead of booking McIntyre vs. Lashley for 3 consecutive PPVs. Same can be said for Riott, Lana, and Garrett. Garrett could have made her debut on the blue brand to add depth to that roster, while Lana and Riott could have given Rhea Ripley more challengers for her title. But, what do I know.
I am sure all of them will land on their feet just fine when their no compete clauses have expired and I wish them all the best of look from a fans point of view.