It’s rough day for WWE employees. The company laid off a slew of of backstage and wrestling talent. Some are calling this the worst mass lay-off in the company since 2004. See the full list of fired employees below:
It’s weird timing since WWE announced layoffs two days after Florida deems company an ‘essential business’ As part of sweeping changes amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, World Wrestling Entertainment announced Wednesday its decision to lay off a number of employees, including wrestlers and producers such as Kurt Angle and Rusev.
Per The Washington Post:
The company said in a release that it would reduce executive and board member compensation; decrease operating expenses; cut talent expenses, third party staffing and consulting; furlough a portion of its workforce; and defer spending on the build-out of the its new headquarters for at least six months.
Now it’s not entirely confirmed if these talents are completely gone from the company or just furloughed until the COVID-19 epidemic blows over. Along with Angle and Rusev, the WWE released Drake Maverick, Zack Ryder, Curt Hawkins, Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, Heath Slater, Eric Young, Rowan, Sarah Logan, No Way Jose, Mike Chioda, Mike Kanellis, Maria Kanellis, EC3, Aiden English, Lio Rush, Primo and Epico.
Angle was among those who shared his thoughts about the company’s decision on social media.
“I wanted [to] say thank you to the WWE for the time I spent there,” Angle wrote on Twitter. “I made many new friends and had the opportunity to work with so many talented people. To the Superstars, continue to entertain the WWE Universe as well as you possibly can. They’re the best fans in the world. #itstrue”
“The only thing I wanted to do in life was wrestle,” Ryder posted to his 2.2 million Twitter followers. “I’m grateful I spent 14 years living my dream in WWE. Thanks to my fans & everyone who believed in me. As I was getting released, I was looking at this photo & smiling. I’m #AlwayzReady & beyond excited for the future. #NotThere”
WWE says this week’s moves will create an estimated monthly savings of $4 million.
The company is still putting on live shows without an audience and is allowed use its Orlando training facility and Full Sail University in Winter Park to offer new content under Florida’s stay-at-home order, which runs through at least April 30.