A plethora of talents, producers and writers were released and put on furlough yesterday as WWE officially kicked off its major budget slashing scheme during the COVID-19 pandemic.
So far, about 40 employees have been laid off; the company isn’t done yet and more releases are reportedly on the way amidst this global crisis.
On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer noted that the first wave of talent releases apparently includes all the main roster talents WWE plans to hand the pink slip to. As for NXT, more Superstars will be shown the door once the billion-dollar promotion announces the second wave of employee cuts.
“Based on what I was told tonight, I don’t think there will be any other main roster talent cut. As far as NXT names, I’m sure there will be a lot more, names that have not come out.”
Meltzer further clarified that the producers laid off by WWE have been furloughed and not released, meaning, some of them still have the possibility of getting their jobs back as soon as normalcy returns.
Meanwhile, WrestleVotes reports that hundreds of employees will be released by WWE under the current budget-slashing scheme – a dark period in pro wrestling history.
“All I can say is wow at this point. The number of people, staff + talent, let go will be in the hundreds when it’s all set and done. Well into the hundreds. A dark day in WWE history.”
According to WWE, the releases would help them save around $8 million annually. While there’s room for talents to re-sign with the company once the economy stabilizes, it remains to be seen whether Vince McMahon would be willing to bring any of them back. Considering the fact that a compact, well-rounded roster allows everyone to enjoy sufficient on-screen time and offers a more effective work environment, it would be interesting to see which names WWE re-signs in the near future.