In yet another shocking turn of events in the pro wrestling world, WWE has released yet another 10 wrestlers from the NXT brand. Apparently, there will be even more cuts to come down the line and this time from the main roster once again.
This now marks a massive amount of talent cuts overall in the last 2 to 3 years since the dawn of the pandemic and before; by now we all know enough to assume that the reasons aren’t at all budgetary. WWE is doing very well financially, as their financial records suggest…which of course are public.
They made a heck of a lot of releases in 2021 but by the end of the year it was reported that they grossed over a billion dollars, as per Forbes…and that was with a portion of the year still without live fans at shows because of the aforementioned pandemic.
As of this writing, their stock price is down and really it remained stagnant for quite some time, dating back to 2021 and perhaps a little before, as the aforementioned article also points out. Today, specifically, the 30th of April, 2022, their stock price was set at 58.39 USD…a 3.73% decrease! It has yo-yoed over the recent years of course, as any stock is likely to do.
Even in 2020 they did well despite the world predicament of the pandemic, especially when looking at what the company spent, so really, the layoffs never really made sense financially. By the 2nd quarter of 2020, they recorded $223.4 million in earnings…down from $268.9 million the year before, but their operating cost was also severely cut from $197.4 million in 2019 to $117.4 million in 2020, so it’s evident they didn’t at all suffer on that front.
They were perhaps projected to do even better in 2020 had they spent more if things were functioning better out in the world, but alas the pandemic was what it was.
Let’s face it: The company certainly made a lot of dough in the last three years and still, they released a heck of a lot of talent.
But yet the cuts are happening regardless. The list of NXT releases was a huge one…the company releasing stars that were in active angles, end even up until just last week…out of the ten the releases making shockwaves throughout the industry are: Dexter Lumis, Malcolm Bivens, Dakota Kai, Persia Pirotta, Harland and even Draco Anthony.
Dexter Lumis (Samuel Shaw), seemed to have the best response to the releases, even tagging his former employers, sharing a portrait of Vince McMahon he had painted in the process.
It was Lumis that Killer Kross reached out to on social media, stating he’d see him soon. Others reached out as well…even Jonah. This leads us to wonder just what is next for the talented star, as well as so many of the others.
We must call a spade a spade…many of them were still in the beginning stages of their respective careers…specifically Harland and Anthony, but some have that cachet and experience levels that can garner them a spot at other promotions right now…specifically Lumis, Dakota Kai and Bivens, who of course is an ROH alum, so hopefully we see him on that platform or at AEW soon. He belongs there anyways, talented manager that he undoubtedly is.
Interestingly enough, it was in 2019 that Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, went into just how much NXT superstars and main roster superstars are paid and compared to other sports stars, it is significantly low. Here’s some of what he said:
“As a general rule, WWE wrestlers make a nice living. Not NXT guys, but the main roster guys, they’re making very good livings, but they’re still being greatly, greatly, underpaid. To a ridiculous level if you compare them to people in any other sport or entertainment form that generates that kind of money…
The way the wrestlers are paid, it’s so archaic. The wrestlers are supposed to be paid based on pay-per-views that don’t exist anymore, merchandise which still does, and house shows – which do exist, but when this pay scale was first formulated it made complete sense at the time because the whole business was house shows…
And you’d come back to house shows, week after week, month after month, depending on the city and the promotion. And the whole idea was you lived and died based on the house…If you increased the house, you shared in the success, as did the promoter…Business is good, you all get paid good. Business is bad, you all suffer…
The house show revenue is a minor, minor, minor part. The revenue is from television. And as the last television revenue increased, the new contracts are for more money. But you’re still like hockey players, which then (during the 1950’s), were underpaid…Now hockey players are pretty much fifty percent of the revenue. In WWE it’s like eight percent…”via Dave Meltzer /cultaholic.com (Transcription)
This of course only adds to the confusion of the releases occurring in the last 2 to 3 years overall. So only more of the old questions, questions, questions game to be played, dear readers….
The other glaring question is: Just how many times can you reshuffle NXT? They’ve gone through so many character changes and flips and flops, it’s kind of hard keeping it all straight, and the impossible thing to understand in all of this right now…the added confusion, if you will, is that NXT is and was WWE’s best product!
It’s been the case even since the Black and Gold brand of NXT…and perhaps that is exactly where the problem lies…perhaps it makes the main roster look too bad overall.
Of course this is conjecture, but heck, I’m paid to analyze this business, and this is my take on it all. The truth is though, it’s sad that so many wrestlers have to lose their jobs while WWE management figures out what they’re doing. Lots of repercussions here, dear readers, and with more cuts coming from the main roster reportedly, in the end it’s the talent I feel for, as this is what they do to feed their families. We here at the Pro Wrestling News Hub wish them all well, and we hope to see them out there soon.