The report confirms that the releases include “mostly logistical and behind the scenes staff working out of Stamford, Connecticut” – with the most prominent being former ring announcer Tony Chimel. Chimel had been with the company officially since 1991 and was SmackDown’s first ever announcer and is best known for his work with Edge and Christian, particularly his iconic “Rater-R Superstar” introduction for Hall of Famer Edge.
On WWE.com, Chimel’s journey to WWE is detailed:
Since 1991, the booming voice of Tony Chimel has thrilled the WWE Universe, but the ring announcer’s WWE career began long before he ever picked up a microphone.
A childhood friend of WWE Hall of Famer Gorilla Monsoon’s son, Chimel and some school pals had the opportunity to help set up the ring whenever WWE came to cities near their South Jersey home like Philadelphia, Baltimore or Scranton, Pa.
What started out as a fun thing to do on weekends soon turned into a fulltime job for the sports-entertainment fanatic when Mr. McMahon hired him as a technician. Before long, Chimel’s role with the company expanded as ring announcers often missed appearances, and he was called upon to fill in for them.
Chimel has most recently worked primarily behind the scenes for WWE, working as a production manager and as part of the ring crew. However, the iconic announcer would make cameos on the WWE Network as part of his close relationship with Edge and Christian.
One other high profile name reportedly released is Derek Casselman, who had been working as the Director of Venue Merchandise and Remote Operations for WWE, and had been with the company since 1993. Another name released – per SuperLuchas – is long-term Spanish announcer Jerry Soto.
There is no word yet as to the other names who have left the company, nor whether any more departures can be expected in the near future.