In a rare insight into WWE’s inner workings, a Senior Vice President has discussed the strategy in the company’s decision to release certain talents.
While wrestlers being released from their contracts is nothing new, in 2020 a series of roster cuts began in WWE that dominated the next two years of the company. Most of the releases were put down to budget cuts but now SVP of Global Talent Strategy & Development James Kimball has explained what goes into some of the decisions to release talents in NXT.
Speaking on WrestleRant Kimball revealed that the decisions are made at certain intervals and every six months, WWE prospects could be on the chopping block:
“It literally is six-month intervals, two-year mark, you’re up or out. Obviously, there’s constant evaluation down the Performance Center in Orlando. Coaching staff, our staff, on-site, all the time constantly evaluating, but formal, deliberate evaluations occur in six-month periods. At that time, and again these all kind of flow in and around the same kind of entry points, we’ll do a tryout, and then we’ll do a set of releases.”
Kimball also added that those trainees that make it to the two-year mark but are still deemed not ready for NXT are then released at that point.
Kimball added this process was put in place at the same time as the company began focussing heavily on college athletes in their recruitment and brought in their Next In Line program that brought Olympic champion, Gable Steveson, into the company:
“I would say that it was incorporated around the same time that this entire new strategy was put in place about a year ago. That all kind of dovetails with our NIL program, heavy emphasis on collegiate athletics, heavy emphasis on putting a real system in place that replenishes and drives itself to where we already know where we’re going six months, 12 months from now already.”