In just a few hours, WWE is going to have their conference call to go over financials based around the WWE Network. It’s expected that immediately following the call, another series of mass releases will happen.
The first time this year that we saw the WWE let a bunch of talent go, there weren’t any immensely shocking names to be found. I personally thought that it was a huge mistake to have let Evan Bourne go, but I can’t say that it was actually all that surprising. I think this time we might be taken completely aback by a few of the names listed on the roster cuts.
While it’s likely the cuts mainly be backstage hands, like catering and other off-screen help, I’m anticipating some more well-known talent to be involved in what’s going to be a move made in order to satisfy investors in an effort to show them that WWE is taking steps to save money and put their best foot forward towards a brighter future.
The names I expect to hear: Tensai, Jojo, Justin Gabriel, Darren Young and Zack Ryder.
Personally, it makes sense to let the first three go, because the company has had little to nothing for any of them to do in recent memory. Tensai started doing some commentary, mainly for NXT, but showed signs that he wasn’t truly ready or capable for that kind of position. He’s a veteran on the roster but someone that they could do without issuing a paycheck to. Jojo is a Diva who never really panned out after making appearances on the first season of Total Divas. She made it clear that she’s definitely not ready for any kind of spotlight, and WWE already has a small package type Diva in AJ Lee. They’ve done squat with her since they removed her from the show, so it’s time to drop her if they’re not going to change her current status. Justin Gabriel is the last of the logical cuts, because they never find something for him to do, outside of being a somewhat high flying jobber. I think he had potential to be a pretty awesome star for the company, but he was misused and he’s terrible on the mic, so he went nowhere. I can’t imagine keeping him around is cheap, and they have plenty of other jobbers capable of making talent look good — which is why Heath Slater is nowhere to be seen on here.
As for the last two, I could see these happening, but I also see plenty of reasons why it probably won’t. Darren is the first publicly gay wrestler for WWE, and I think once he comes back from injury they’re going to want to capitalize on that in order to gain some ground in the LGBT community. If it’s handled well, I could really see him flourishing, especially because the guy has talent; he’s just been used in a stupid tag team group in the past — Prime Time Players with Titus O’Neil — and then he got injured shortly after making it public that he was gay. The reason I think they may go ahead and release him is that it seemed like when he broke off from Titus, they had no solid plans for him; which may have been the case or they were just building towards something. I don’t think they know what to do with him exactly, and he’s been a pretty solid talent for them for years so his services can’t run cheap.
Lastly, Ryder may be on the chopping block. He was once a fan favorite and very well still may be, but he’s almost never used on TV anymore and when he is he jobs to someone in an under two-minute match. They gave him a win recently, which is the first time in quite a while, making me wonder if that was his sendoff as a last gift from the powers that be. Ryder burst onto the scene with John Cena‘s backing, but that didn’t last as long as it perhaps should have. He’s a fun guy and I would hate to see him lose his job, but I don’t think we’ll be seeing the Rough Ryder put anyone else down ever again.