The possible reason for Toni Storm’s shock WWE departure has been reported with budget cuts purportedly not the reason Storm has left.
The 26-year-old star built a name for herself in companies such as Progress in the UK and Stardom in Japan before beginning her relationship with WWE in 2017. Storm was announced as one of the competitors in that year’s Mae Young Classic, with the New Zealander losing in the tournament to Kairi Sane in the semi-finals.
Toni Storm did better in 2018’s tournament where she won the trophy after defeating Io Shirai in the final held at the all-female WWE Evolution pay-per-view.
Storm then became only the second-ever NXT UK Women’s Champion in January 2019 when she defeated Rhea Ripley at TakeOver: Blackpool. Toni Storm held that title until August when she was defeated for the gold by Kay Lee Ray.
In July 2021 Storm graduated to the main roster of WWE when she debuted on SmackDown. Storm was most recently seen competing in a losing effort against Charlotte Flair for the SmackDown Women’s Title on the Christmas Eve episode of SmackDown.
Those that I spoke to within WWE believe Toni Storm asked for her release from the company, though I'm also making an effort to reach out to those close to her. The memo that went out did not list budget cuts as the reason, as has been tradition of late.
— Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com (@SeanRossSapp) December 29, 2021
Budget cuts have been used as the reason for over eighty releases in the company this year as the WWE roster has been cut several times throughout the year. The last release from the company was reported on December 9th when Jeff Hardy was let go for reportedly refusing the company’s request to attend rehab.