WWE recently released a massive group of superstars, citing cost-cutting concerns due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and there have been backlash regarding the same. WWE was called out for letting go of employees in a difficult time despite making record revenue.
One of the talents involved in the clean-up was former Cruiserweight Champion Lio Rush, who’s release came as a major shocker. Not long ago, Rush held the title and was a major deal on 205 Live and NXT, and was considered as a major talent for the future.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter stated that Lio Rush’s public announcement of him not working the tapings until the pandemic has settled could have played a part in WWE’s decision to let go of him.
It was reported that his firing was probably WWE’s way of ‘forcing’ the talent to work the tapings, or else they could be facing the same repercussions.
“It also doesn’t help the perception from the talent when Lio Rush publicly stated that he was not going to work while the pandemic was going on and then just a short time later, he was fired.”
A few days ago, an anonymous employee said that they were being ‘forced’ to work WWE tapings. Although WWE has denied these allegations, the complete story remains unclear.
WON also noted that a great deal of AEW talents, almost 30%, had skipped the last round of tapings. In WWE, only Roman Reigns and Kyle O’ Reilly are the major names who haven’t attended the tapings. Reigns has concerns with his previous leukemia diagnosis, while O’Reilly has diabetes.
“It is also notable that 29 percent of the talent on the AEW roster worked the most recent set of tapings. In WWE, other than Reigns, Kyle O’Reilly and the NXT announcing team, there is no word of anyone not working.”
WWE has maintained that every employee is free to stay at home, and they are maintaining a proper environment for the wrestlers during tapings, but their practices definitely look sketchy.