WWE continues its annual purse of releasing wrestlers. In April, the company handed walking papers to many of their stars. Wrestlers such as Mickie James, Samoa Joe, Peyton Royce, and Billie Kay were given their ax.
Fans were disappointed with the release of these wrestlers. But they wouldn’t be the last ones to exit WWE. Yesterday, the company announced the releases of several superstars. This time there were many big names on the list, many of whom were still featured regularly on television.
Braun Strowman was one of the surprising names on the list of released superstars. The six foot eight inches star was introduced to WWE fans in 2015 as the newest member of the The Wyatt Family. After the group disbanded, Strowman would go on to have a successful singles career.
With his strength and popular “Get These Hands” catchphrase, he became a fan favorite. WWE would give him a push on and off throughout the years. Strowman’s biggest moment came last year at WrestleMania 36 when he defeated Goldberg for the Universal Championship.
In recent months, Strowman feuded with Shane McMahon, then received an opportunity to challenge Bobby Lashley for the WWE Championship. Strowman’s last match took place two weeks ago at the WrestleMania Backlash PPV.
Rumors about Aleister Black’s status with the company began to circulate in November 2020. After WWE released his wife Zelina Vega, fans wondered if Black’s time in WWE was limited. Reports then surfaced that Black was unhappy on the main roster and wanted to go back to NXT.
Like many stars before him, Black was a success in NXT, but suffered the main roster curse upon getting called up. With creative unable to come up with anything for him, Black would disappear from television for long bouts of time. However, in May, he made his return to Smackdown where he started a feud with Big E.
Now, like many other storylines before, this one has been cut short. Following news of his release, Black took to social media to express his gratitude of being in WWE for the past five years. He also thanked the fans for their continued support.
On the women’s side, WWE fans will no longer be seeing the ravishing Lana on their television screens. The blonde beauty began her WWE career in 2013 when she served as manager for Rusev aka Miro, who would later become her real-life husband. Aside from serving as her husband’s manager, Lana also tried her hand at a singles wrestling career.
Although, Lana’s wrestling wasn’t the best, fans admired her effort. In recent months, Lana had began teaming with Naomi and the two competed, yet failed to win the women’s tag titles. Lana’s WWE exit comes a year after her husband was granted his release. With Miro now working in AEW, fans are wondering if his wife will join him.
Prior to joining WWE, Ruby Riott worked the indie scene as Heidi Lovelace. Although, her ring name changed upon signing with the company, her badass, tattooed rocker chick image didn’t. Riott along with Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan rose to popularity with the formation of the Riott Squad.
Following the group’s disbandment, the trio struggled in their singles career. In 2020, Logan was released, while Ruby and Liv would go on to reunite as a tag team. Unfortunately, the Riott Squad is officially no more now that Ruby’s been released.
After news broke of Ruby’s exit, her fellow co-workers shared their sentiments. Former Riott Squad member Sarah Logan called her “the hardest worker I know.” Meanwhile, Morgan expressed her well wishes by tweeting, “Whoever is lucky enough to get Heidi Lovelace on their roster, you win.”
Murphy is one superstar who often found himself in creative limbo. The wrestler started off with the name Buddy Murphy and was a tag team champion with partner Wesley Blake in NXT. However, the duo would break up and soon Murphy would make his main roster debut.
During his main roster run, Murphy would become Cruiserweight Champion along with RAW Tag Team Champion alongside Seth Rollins. Murphy’s storyline with Rollins, saw him become one of Seth’s disciples as the two feuded with the father and son duo of Rey and Dominik Mysterio.
Following the end of their partnership, Murphy was once again caught in a creative limbo. With no plans for him, WWE decided to release the star. Murphy would later take to Twitter to write a heartfelt message, “So Today ends my 8 years with WWE! What a crazy ride! Highest of Highs, Lowest of Lows, weather I had 3 minutes or 20 minutes I put all my effort into my performances.”
Like many wrestlers, Santana Garrett started off on the indie circuit before signing with WWE. She joined the company in 2019, where she became the newest member of NXT. Although, Garrett had promise, she was often lost in the shuffle of other NXT women including Shayna Baszler and Io Shirai.
Aside from NXT, Garrett also made a few main roster appearances. One of her memorable moments came earlier this year when she was announced as an entrant for the Women’s Royal Rumble. After having an up and down run, Garrett’s tenure has come to an end. But the star isn’t letting it get her down. In an Instagram photo, she posted an inspirational caption, “I’ve got this…whatever you’re going through, YOU’ve got this! I truly believe what is meant to be, will be. Keep moving forward!”
What’s Next For The Stars?
Yesterday was a tough day for these released stars. But many are already planning to continue wrestling. Aleister Black has already switched his social media handles to his previous ring name Tommy End. Black is also teasing the possibility of a possible AEW signing and targeting Jon Moxley as an opponent.
Many fans are already placing bets on where some of these wrestlers are headed. WWE’s rival AEW seems to be the top contender. AEW is set to hold their All Out PPV on September 5th, which is around the time the 90-day no compete clause ends for the released wrestlers. So it’s possible there may be a surprise entrant or two at the All Out show.