Here’s who was laid off by WWE and how they responded on social media
A bunch of WWE wrestlers got the bad news they were fired on the same day their former employer received the good news that it could continue staging live TV shows in Florida.
The WWE announced Wednesday that it had come to terms on the release of wrestlers Kurt Angle, Drake Maverick, Curt Hawkins, Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, Heath Slater, Eric Young, EC3, Aiden English, Lio Rush, Sarah Logan, Erick Rowan, Primo, Epico, Mike Kanellis, Maria Kanellis, Zack Ryder, No Way Jose and, in perhaps the biggest surprise on the list, Rusev. Also released was longtime referee Mike Chioda
“We wish them all the best in their future endeavors,” the company said in a statement.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis deemed Wednesday that World Wrestling Entertainment qualifies as an essential business and is permitted to continue broadcasting events — without spectators present — from a facility near Orlando while the state is under a stay-at-home order related to the coronavirus outbreak.
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The WWE announced a number of cost-cutting moves related to the COVID-19 pandemic on the same day. They include reducing the salaries of executives and board members, decreasing operating and other expenses, and deferring spending on the construction of the company’s new headquarters for at least six months.
Maverick, whose real name is James Curtin, posted an emotional video on social media just after he learned of the news.
“I’m like everybody else, probably didn’t take this as seriously as it is in the beginning, but it’s affecting people’s lives, it’s affecting people’s jobs, it’s affecting the way people make a living,” said Maverick, who indicated he’d be participating in one more WWE event. "... It’s not about a title anymore, it’s about my life, it’s about feeding my family, paying my bills.”
Some of the other unemployed wrestlers also responded on social media.
Last time I got fired I had a really funny tweet in response to it. Doesn’t really feel appropriate today. I will say this, a lot of very talented ppl lost their jobs today and out of this disaster the PRO WRESTLING community will rise stronger than ever! 🤘🏻— Brian Myers (@TheCurtHawkins) April 15, 2020
I wanted 2 say thank you to the WWE for the time I spent there.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— Kurt Angle (@RealKurtAngle) April 15, 2020
To all of my fellow co workers, whatever happens today or the remainder of this week....just know, we’re all going to be good. 🙏🏽 Once a family, forever a family. #Wrestling— Lio (@itsLioRush) April 15, 2020
WWE wrestlers-turned-producers Lance Storm (real name Lance Evers), Fit Finlay (Dave Finlay Jr.) and Shane Helms (Gregory Helms) indicated on Twitter that they were among those who lost their jobs Wednesday as well.
To everyone on Gods green earth. Thank you for the kind words. I’ve been doing this for 46 years(Wrestling)I pray you all get through this and we can share a hug and drink again. Stay healthy. (SD)— Fit Finlay (@ringfox1) April 15, 2020
My best to all who, like me, lost their jobs today. To those still on the job, hold down the fort for us. It was my pleasure to work with you all these past 4 month. I hope we will all get a chance to work together again. Stay strong, stay safe.— Lance Storm (@LanceStorm) April 15, 2020
I knew I shouldn’t have answered that call. 😁🤷🏻♂️— Hurricane Helms (@ShaneHelmsCom) April 15, 2020
Others in the wrestling community also took to Twitter to express their feelings on the matter.
Very hard day for the WWE family 💔— Lexi Kaufman (@AlexaBliss_WWE) April 15, 2020
My heart is breaking for my wrestling family..— PAIGE (@RealPaigeWWE) April 15, 2020
This is sad, man. 😔— Pretty Ricky (@KingRicochet) April 15, 2020
awesome wrestlers lost their job today, in the midst of everything going on it may not mean a lot to you & that’s ok. But it means a lot to me. If you can, root for them, checkout their @PWTees page & @BookCameo— Nic Nemeth (@HEELZiggler) April 15, 2020
If u have a fav independent pro having a rough time, send their info
My heart breaks for anyone who has lost their job during this. I feel sick about it. Sending you guys so much love ❤️— Renee Young (@ReneeYoungWWE) April 15, 2020
There needs to be no smart arse comments on this matter.— ᵂⁱˡˡ ᴼˢᵖʳᵉᵃʸ • ウィル・オスプレイ (@WillOspreay) April 15, 2020
A lot of my friends have lost their jobs. In a situation where they can’t just jump to another ship as we are all on the same boat.
I pray all of you find your feet in this disaster.
Much love to you all 🤍
Today sucks. To all my former co-workers, especially the ones losing their jobs right now, I love you all.— CASH (@CashWheelerFTR) April 15, 2020
Today sucks. 💔— Johnny Gargano (@JohnnyGargano) April 15, 2020
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