Former NXT Women’s Tag Team Champion Dakota Kai and Dexter Lumis are among a litany of shock names to have been reportedly been released by WWE.
Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful has reported the news of ten WWE releases, including Dakota Kai and Dexter Lumis.
Departing WWE alongside Dakota Kai and Dexter Lumis are Malcom Bivens, Harland, Persia Pirotta, Sanjana George, Draco Anthony, Raelyn Divine, Mila Malan and Blair Baldwin.
Sapp stated that Bivens had been offered to re-sign in February, but that the former Stokely Hathaway made it clear he didn’t want to. No reason has been given as of yet for any of the other releases.
Malcolm Bivens/Stokely Hathaway, Dakota Kai, Raelyn Divine, Mila Malani, Draco Anthony, Sanjana George, Persia Pirotta, Harland, Dexter Lumis and Paige Prinzivalli were all released Friday, April 29.
Fightful Select went on to report further details on the releases, including who made the call and the non-compete details.
John Laurinaitis made the cuts and cited budget cuts as the reason. The email internally read “Due to budgetary cuts, and with immediate effect as of today, 4/29/2022, we have come to the terms to release the following. Those cited have 30-day non compete clauses.
Malcolm Bivens’ release was said to be due to him making it abundantly clear that he didn’t plan on re-signing. Dakota Kai was said to have “seen the release coming” and also indicated to WWE that she was not planning on renewing her WWE contract.
Meanwhile, Harland’s release is said to be due to coaches and officials telling Fightful they felt like he’d not progressed in the ring quite enough for their liking.
Fightful has learned Dakota Kai has been released by WWE.
— Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com (@SeanRossSapp) April 29, 2022
At NXT Stand & Deliver, Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez – now Raquel Rodriguez on SmackDown – defeated Toxic Attraction to become the new NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions.
The two had reunited just days before after a long stint as of being at odds with one another, but their title reign lasted only days as Toxic Attraction regained the titles on the following NXT 2.0. The pair had previously held the titles for just one hour before losing the titles to Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon on the very same episode of NXT.
Malcolm Bivens has also been released, according to Fightful, after declining to sign a new WWE contract.
Bivens had most recently been the manager of Diamond Mine, having previously accompanied Omos on house shows during the former Raw Tag Team Champion’s short run in NXT. Diamond Mine initially consisted of Roderick Strong, Tyler Rust, Arturo Ruas, Hideki Suzuki, Marina Shafir and Malcolm Bivens. Only Strong remains in WWE.
Harland had been paired on television with Joe Gacy, having been referred to as the next Brock Lesnar upon signing with the company.
WWE is yet to confirm the departures, nor is there any news as of yet whether more releases will follow.