In professional wrestling, there aren’t usually many surprises anymore.
However, count Wednesday as a day full of surprises in the WWE.
The company, the top pro wrestling company in the world, announced Wednesday morning that they have released a number of wrestlers, including two main event stars.
The biggest name on the list was strongman Braun Strowman, who defeated Goldberg at WrestleMania in 2020, earning the Universal Championship which he held for over four months.
Strowman held the strap until a loss at SummerSlam 2020, when he lost to longtime rival “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt.
Since then, Strowman has been more of a sideshow act than a serious main event superstar. He usually comes out and does some sort of crazy strongman act, but in the end, he never seems to win the belt.
Just a few weeks back, he took a clean loss in a pay-per-view match against champion Bobby Lashley and top contender fan favorite Drew McIntyre.
Strowman was expected to stay in the title mix against Lashely and McIntyre at least for the next few weeks, while Lashley and McIntyre fight in the main event of the next pay-per-view, ‘Hell in a Cell.’
Here are the other wrestlers who were shown the door Wednesday: Aleister Black, Lana, Buddy Murphy, Ruby Riott and Santana Garrett.
Besides Strowman, the biggest name on the list is probably Black, who was getting a push back onto the main roster on ‘Smackdown’ with a number of vignettes. Just last week, he started what appeared to be a program with popular member of ‘New Day,’ ‘Big E’ Langston.
Now that program has been scrapped, and Langston will have to find a new opponent.
Diehard wrestling fans will probably speculate that the released wrestlers will at least speak to All Elite Wrestling, the second biggest wrestling company in the country.
AEW hasn’t been shy about bringing in former WWE stars to see if it can develop a connection with them.
The latest former WWE star (and Hall of Famer) who made an appearance on AEW was strongman Mark Henry. Henry came out in a suit during the “Double or Nothing” pay-per-view Sunday and posed for the audience. The crowd obviously approved and cheered on the longtime WWE star.
With six new wrestlers available, it wouldn’t be a shock to see AEW have a chat with at least some of them.
So WHY did WWE release those wrestlers?
The company can’t be hurting for money, as WWE has done very well closing down deals with companies like Fox Sports, which airs SmackDown live on Friday evenings.
At the same time, ratings have been downright bad for just about all of 2021, so it was inevitable that someone would have to pay the price eventually.
It just turned out to be six “someones.”