John Laurinaitis, the Head Of Talent Relations in WWE is reported to have sent out a company-wide text message explaining the recent roster cuts.
On the 2nd of June WWE confirmed the news first reported by Sean Ross Sapp that releases had been made and several surprising names were among those leaving the company. Former WWE Universal Champion Braun Strowman was cut alongside Aleister Black who had been prominently featured on SmackDown in recent weeks as well as Ruby Riott, Santana Garrett, Lana, and Buddy Murphy.
Further reports suggested that the reason behind the cuts was solely down to budget concerns. According to Fightful Select, the terms of Braun Strowman’s contract could have played a part in his release. The report notes that while Strowman’s release was a surprise to many outside of WWE, it wasn’t to some talent close to the situation. The report went on to reveal that Strowman was being paid more than $1 million per year.
Following on from that Mike Johnson of PWInsider has now reported that John Laurinaitis sent a text message to all talent confirming the news of the releases. The message also seemed to confirm the reason behind the cuts.
Lauriaitis’ text message read:
“Due to Budget cuts the following talent were released today. Braun Strowman, Lana, Buddy Murphy, Santana Garrett, Ruby Riott, and Aleister Black. – John Laurinaitis”
These roster cuts come within two months of WWE releasing several stars for the second year in a row on April 15th. Names including Samoa Joe, The IIconics, Mickie James, and Kalisto were among those released. Then in May, the axe was swung in NXT with several developmental stars being given their release along with more controversial figures, Drake Wuertz and Velveteen Dream.