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“Terminated Due to a Backstage Political Power Play”: Recently Released Star Opens Up on His WWE Release

Published 09/24/2023, 12:30 PM EDT

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The WWE fandom has been left in shock over the past couple of weeks. The reason was that the entity now owned by the TKO group released a bunch of talents on the 21st and 22nd of September following the firing of around 100 employees a few days ago. Somewhere around 20 WWE stars have been released including Dolph Ziggler

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Another star who faced this is Eric Bugenhagen known by his ring name Rick Boogs. After his release, Boogs publicly stated that the reason behind his firing could be related to the backstage.

Why Boogs was fired?


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Boogs has a YouTube channel where he posts videos about wellness and fitness. One such category of his videos is ‘gym reviews’. In a recent gym review, he posted on his YouTube channel, he casually said what could be the reason for his firing. After addressing the viewers, he said that this moment has to be strangely interesting. He credited his abrupt release from the promotion as the possible cause for feeling that way. Following this he talked about the only believable explanation behind his firing.

He said, It’s been an interesting time in my life uh with my job in WWE being terminated due to a backstage political power play, at least that’s my opinion of it”, implying that he believes there is more to it for his firing than meets the eye. But he chose to not clear things up by saying, “But now is not the time to talk about that”, and added that he would explain this angle when he felt it would be the right time to do so.


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Rick Boogs has a long relationship with wrestling. Being a two-time wrestling champion during high school and a four-year letter-winner in college, he was amongst the top 10 amateur wrestlers in the United States in 2011. He entered WWE via the NXT program. He quickly rose to fame and made his main roster debut in 2021, appearing on the SmackDown.

With this revelation of Boogs, fans are now left puzzled. Now fans happen to have more questions about the backstage power play, who happens to have more control over such decisions and what was the actual reason behind these firings.

The reason behind mass firings


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The biggest thing that could happen for WWE this year was its merger with UFC. However, the celebration was cut short following the firing of 100 employees and a bunch of WWE stars. Renowned journalist Dave Meltzer voiced his opinions on this decision by WWE. He said that the logic behind these releases has to be the fact that most stars were making money equivalent to that of main roster stars but were not being used at that capacity. So after complete consideration, management released those stars that they decided wouldn’t be used in the future.

But the layoffs were already underway. Ari Emanuel had already suggested this as a part of budget cuts. It was stated by Emanuel that they will be trying to save $50-100 million dollars post-merger. This also included a change in broadcasting networks. The USA network will be paid a total of $1.4 billion for 5 years by the promotion which is 40% lesser compared to what Fox was paid. But even after that, the layovers were unavoidable.


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Watch this story – Every WWE Superstar Who Attacked Vince McMahon

What are your views on this sudden decision by WWE and TKO? Do you think Rick Boog’s claim is true? 

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Written by:

Shaikh Aerajuddin


One take at a time

Shaikh Aerajuddin is a WWE writer at EssentiallySports. With a Masters degree in Sports Science, Aeraj always carries a keen eye for detail and understands the various nuances of pro wrestling beyond the ring. Being a pro wrestling fan from his childhood, Aeraj now uses his analytical mind to tell a story in his articles for ES.
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Edited by:

Sherjeel Malik