WWE is at it again with their ill timed layoffs. However this round of layoffs has some big names that contributed at the recent Wrestlemania 37.
In a statement posted on WWE.com, WWE announced that Samoa Joe, Billie Kay, Peyton Royce, Mickie James, Chelsea Green, Tucker, Kalisto, Bo Dallas, and Wesley Blake have been released: “WWE has come to terms on the release of Samoa Joe, Billie Kay, Peyton Royce, Mickie James, Chelsea Green, Tucker, Kalisto, Bo Dallas and Wesley Blake as of today April 15, 2021. We wish them the best in all of their future endeavors.”
It had been announced this Monday that Joe was no longer part of the Raw commentary team but remained on the WWE talent roster. He hasn’t wrestled since February 2020 due to concussion issues but stated earlier this year that he doesn’t believe his in-ring career is over.
Royce & Kay were formerly WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions as The IIconics. Their team was split up in August of last year. Kay was in action at WrestleMania 37 night one this past Saturday, teaming with Carmella in the Tag Team Turmoil match that was won by Natalya & Tamina.
James was part of the pre-show panel for NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver nights one and two last week and also did commentary for the event’s pre-show matches. James tweeted about her release: “Grateful for the memories. Grateful for the locker room. Grateful for the fans. Grateful for these little keys to my golden handcuffs. You can never expected others vision of you to be big as your own dreams. Thank you @VinceMcMahon #AlwaysBlessedAndGrateful”
While making her SmackDown debut in November of last year, Green suffered a broken wrist. She posted a picture while backstage at SmackDown last month but didn’t appear on the show.
Tucker was formerly part of Heavy Machinery before the tag team was broken up, while Kalisto was formerly part of The Lucha House Party and Blake was formerly a member of both The Forgotten Sons and Baron Corbin’s Knights of The Lone Wolf. Blake’s stablemate Steve Cutler was released by WWE this February. Dallas’ former tag team partner Curtis Axel was released last year.
Today’s releases were announced on the one-year anniversary of WWE’s April 2020 pandemic-related roster cuts.
The fact that WWE cut one of the best female tag teams at a time when the female tag team division is a bad joke is curious. The IICONICS are a tremendous talent who I can see joining AEW very soon. After all, Peyton is with AEW wrestler Shawn Spears. Samoa Joe would also be a big get for AEW and hopefully put him into a good program with either Moxley or Page.
I could see AEW doing some discount shopping with the lesser name talent here before going in and nabbing a Royce or Joe. But then again AEW could always ignore these talents in favor of whatever indie bar wrestler is hot on YouTube at the moment.