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WWE announced the release of superstars Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, EC3, Lio Rush, Drake Maverick, Heath Slater, Eric Young, Curt Hawkins, Aiden English, Sarah Logan, Erick Rowan, Mike Kanellis, Maria Kanellis, Primo and Epico on Wednesday .
WWE has also released the Hall of Famer Kurt Angle, who has been a producer behind the scenes since losing his retirement game against Baron Corbin at WrestleMania 35 last year.
Longtime WWE referee Mike Chioda, who has been with the company since 1989, was also released.
The reductions were announced after WWE released a statement earlier today regarding measures that would be taken to cut spending during the coronavirus pandemic.
In the statement, WWE noted that it would cut talent spending in addition to reducing executive and board member compensation, reducing operating expenses and delaying construction of a new headquarters of the company for six months.
WWE has also said it will lay off employees for an indefinite period.
WWE said the cuts would “result in an estimated monthly savings of $ 4 million as well as improved cash flow of $ 140 million, mainly from spending spending on the company’s new headquarters.”
According to WrestlingInc.com Raj Giri, in a conference call with employees on Wednesday, WWE President Vince McMahon said some of the employees would be on leave and some would be released immediately. He also told them that they would be informed of their fate by SMS.
Several of the freed interpreters tweeted about their departure on Wednesday:
Kurt Angle @RealKurtAngle
I wanted to thank WWE for the time I spent there, I made many new friends and I had the opportunity to work with so many talented people. For Superstars, keep the WWE universe entertained as best as possible. They are the best fans in the world. #That is true
Brian Myers @TheCurtHawkins
The last time I was fired, I had a really funny tweet in response. Doesn’t seem really appropriate to me today. I will say this, many very talented people have lost their jobs today and as a result of this disaster, the PRO WRESTLING community will grow stronger than ever! ??
Drake Maverick @WWEMaverick
My immediate thoughts.
@WWE @WWENXT #WWE #NXT @TripleH @ShawnMichaels #Cruiserweight https://t.co/Afw58V7eo1
Of the Superstars released on Wednesday, Slater had the longest continuous run with the company, as he made his debut in the first season of NXT in 2010 and was part of the Nexus team.
The 36-year-old was a four-time WWE team champion and also hosted the championship 24/7 once.
Gallows and Anderson joined WWE together in 2016 after a successful team race at the New Japan Pro-Wrestling. They have won the Raw Tag Team Championships twice, as well as the WWE Team World Cup last year.
Gallows was also on the WWE main list from 2006 to 2010 before being released and working for several other companies.
It was reported last year Gallows and Anderson signed five-year contracts to stay with WWE. They were prominent in WWE programming as two-thirds of The O.C. with AJ Styles, and they helped him out in Boneyard’s game against The Undertaker at WrestleMania 36 two weeks ago.
Maverick and Rush were both key players in the WWE cruiserweight division, as Maverick was the general manager of 205 Live, and Rush held the Cruiserweight title for two months before ceding it to Angel Garza in December.
Maverick had an entertaining feud with R-Truth during the 24/7 championship last summer, which saw him win the title six times, while Rush was Bobby Lashley’s manager on Raw before moving on to the ranks of heavyweight.
EC3 and Young had their greatest success in Impact Wrestling before signing with WWE in recent years.
While EC3 had a brief run in WWE as Derrick Bateman, he became two-time TNA heavyweight world champion before joining WWE in 2018. EC3 spent time in NXT and then won the title 24/7 four times on the main list, but it has been out since November with a reported a concussion.
Young is also a former TNA heavyweight world champion who signed with WWE in 2016 and led the Sanity team at the NXT with whom he won the NXT Tag Team Championships. Sanity pulled back to the main list without much success, and Young went on mainly to improve games thereafter.
Hawkins was half a team with Zack Ryder, and they won the Raw Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania 35 in East Rutherford, New Jersey, which is near their hometown in New York City.
In 2007 Hawkins made his main list debut with Ryder as Major Brothers. Later, they became The Edgeheads, who saw them dressing up and supporting him during his world title reign.
Hawkins was released in 2014 but returned to WWE in 2016 and suffered a record losing streak before reforming his team with Ryder. Hawkins was a double WWE team champion.
The Englishman first won success in NXT with a singing gadget and then formed the Vaudevillans tag team with Simon Gotch. They were called to the main list in 2016 and the English went solo when Gotch was released in 2017.
Since last year, English had moved away from the competition in the ring and was mainly used as an announcer on 205 Live and NXT UK.
While almost all of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and around the world are closed due to COVID-19, WWE continues to broadcast shows. He announced last week that Raw, SmackDown and NXT would continue to be broadcast live from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, without fans.
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