“They’ll Have to Cut Down by $28 Million from Talent” – Potential Reasons for the Recent WWE Releases

Published 06/26/2021, 10:52 AM EDT


In a shocking turn of events on Friday, WWE released over a dozen superstars from its roster. While the majority of the names were from NXT and 205 Live, there were some top names that were let go, namely – Breezango and Killian Dain.

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Ever since the news of the releases broke out, everyone has only one question in mind – “Why are they releasing talent?” After all, this isn’t the first time WWE has released talent this year. The company made several releases in April and earlier this month in June.

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 04: WWE Superstars Nia Jax®, Braun Strowman pose for photos on the green carpet at the New York Jets New Uniform Unveiling on April 4, 2019 at Gotham Hall in New York, NY. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

WWE has to cut their budget by over $28M!

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During the latest edition of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Show, former WWE Writer Vince Russo and Billi Bhatti touched upon the reason WWE is making so many cuts to their roster, including top names. Billi said, “WWE were asked to cut down their talent budget which was at $98,500,000 per year.”

He continued, “My understanding is they were told to cut down to $70M. They have to cut down by over $28M from talent. When this was said, Vince immediately cut Shawn and Hunter’s budget in half. NXT will be operating on $10M for talent which will be really difficult to do.”

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Billi Bhatti also noted that NXT and NXT UK are the two brands that will suffer the most due to the budget cuts. While NXT will have $10M for talent, that leaves WWE’s main roster with a budget of $60M.

He concluded, “As for the main roster, that leaves $60M. When you cut Strowman, that’s a $1.5M contract that you just got rid of. Someone that you don’t know how to book.”

WWE had over 300 Superstars on their roster, but many of them were unutilized. Many believe the company hoarded a ton of talent to avoid them jumping ship or just for the sake of signing everyone impressive out there.

However, the new management under Nick Khan’s leadership does not see this as cost-effective.

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Dave Meltzer noted on the Wrestling Observer Radio that WWE is going for younger and bigger guys going forward. Vince McMahon’s promotion has already released a total of 35 Superstars from the roster in 2021 alone. Apart from the talent cuts, the promotion also made several cuts to their office and departmental staff.

There is no word on if more WWE releases are on the way or not, but considering WWE has to make considerable budget cuts, all we can do is brace ourselves for the worst.

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Ishan Chavan

746 articles

Ishan Chavan is a WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports. Being a Journalism graduate, Ishan has over six years of experience in the Media Production Industry, having worked with Viacom 18's streaming platform, Voot. A wrestling fan since childhood, Ishan's favorite wrestlers are Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, and Chris Jericho as he feels these three have the perfect blend of wrestling and promo skills, especially Jericho.

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