Braun Strowman, Lana, Aleister Black, Murphy among latest WWE cuts

Originally published at Braun Strowman, Lana, Aleister Black, Murphy among latest WWE cuts

The WWE has made additional cuts with several notable names among the latest releases.

On Wednesday, the company issued an announcement that the following wrestlers had been let go:
*Braun Strowman
*Aleister Black
*Lana
*Murphy
*Ruby Riott
*Santana Garrett

The news of the cuts was first reported by Fightful just before WWE issued the announcement.

Braun Strowman was a main event-level performer that was just featured in a championship program over the past month with Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre. He was signed without any prior wrestling experience and moved to the main roster in August 2015 as a member of The Wyatt Family. He would become a major pushed singles star after the brand split in 2016 when he was assigned to Raw and got over through squash matches and feats of strength. His run culminated with an impromptu Universal Championship win at WrestleMania 36 in 2020 after substituting for Roman Reigns to defeat Bill Goldberg.

In 2019, Strowman announced he had signed a four-year contract extension with the company.

Aleister Black, who wrestled as Tommy End on the independents, has changed his Twitter profile to his former name and issued the following indicating it was a complete surprise:

Im gathering my thoughts as this was a complete left field for me as obviously we just started the dark father character but this was it, thank you so much WWE universe for allowing me to create and give you small bits of myself.

Black had just returned to television after months of inactivity to shoot an angle with Big E., which indicates this was a recent decision. At one point, Black was tabbed for a major role on the main roster and was a rumored opponent for Brock Lesnar but instead, the company went with Drew McIntyre winning the Royal Rumble in 2020.

Lana has been with the company since 2013 and met her husband Miro Baryashev (a.k.a. ‘Miro’ in AEW) while working in NXT. Over the past year, she has been stationed in Florida improving on her in-ring skills and was featured in a tag team with Naomi with their final match taking place on Raw this week against Dana Brooke & Mandy Rose.

Ruby Riott recovered from double shoulder surgery in early 2020 and began a program with Liv Morgan that led to the reunion of the two as the remaining members of The Riott Squad. Riott signed with WWE in late 2016 and was assigned to NXT before her call-up with Morgan and Sarah Logan in November 2017.

Murphy was heavily featured on SmackDown last year for the angle involving the Mysterio family drama. Murphy was aligned with Seth Rollins until he got involved with Rey’s daughter Aalyah Mysterio. The feud culminated last November with Murphy defeating Rollins on SmackDown with Murphy having no follow-up story. He made an appearance on television earlier this year but was largely forgotten.

Garrett has made NXT appearances for years but was not signed until the summer of 2019. She was brought up to the main roster in April 2020 wrestling on Main Event but never had a defined role on Raw or SmackDown. Her last appearance was in the women’s Royal Rumble match this past January.

Thank you, @wwe 🙏❤️✨

Peace.. Love & #HeadbandPower#timetoSHINE #womenswrestling #santanagarrett #wwe #nxt pic.twitter.com/9eLf1hOZ2C

— SANTANA GARRETT (@SantanaGarrett_) June 2, 2021

Lol this company is a total mess

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Wanton speculation here, but it feels like Nick Khan’s job is effectively to “modernize” and “streamline” the WWE as an entity in order to sell it. It’s a complete about-face from the “sign EVERYONE even if we don’t have a minute of TV time to spare them” policy that was still in place pre-COVID.

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Absolutely bizarre news to read today and goes to show that just because the company had plans for you yesterday doesn’t mean they have plans for you today.

Sucks for everyone, and makes little sense.

Lana will have a career outside of wrestling soon enough I’m sure.

Definitely seeing Tommy End and Heidi Lovelace showing up in AEW by the end of the summer.

Both have so much more to offer.

Braun, Impact main event mix? Can’t see him anywhere else. Unless he goes to Japan and goes full Brody.

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Lower costs and spending and help sell the company within the next few years. Maybe sooner.

No way WWE ends this decade as a standalone entertainment company. They’re going to be a product owned by a corporation. Full on WCW.

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Yeah, I think it’s hard to look at this and not agree with you and @Contrasoma on where this could be going, at least without any other good reason being out there (though John had a note in the pod they just put out on Black). Will be interesting if they actually comment on this the next time they meet with the media (HHH should have a pre-Takeover presser next week).

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I am assuming Comcast NBC Universal is the ultimate buyer. That said, I could also see Fox Television being after then too. Who knows, maybe an Amazon gets involved. Lots of possibilities.

But all of Nick Khan’s moves have seemingly been to set things up for a sale.

I’ve also said it for the last year… It’s funny that WWE is looking like they’ll eventually turn into WCW in terms of structure. While the start-up on a Turner Network feels very close to WWF in the late 90’s, who flaunted their independence at the time and could take risks.

I guess this has been the ultimate goal since WWE went public.

You have to wonder how long the brand split lasts. Creative has no ability to book fresh matches and there is so much talent sitting there and gathering dust in NXT, NXT UK and 205 Live.

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I can’t imagine NXT UK or 205 Live being left untouched for very long…

The Aleister Black release bums me out because of the recent return, and it definitely seems to have caught people by surprise. Had he stayed MIA all this time, I would not have been taken aback by the release. Tommy End is too talented not to be be a star in another company. If Zelina Vega joins him as Thea End, that could be a very fun act.

I’m interested in seeing where Murphy goes, as well as Braun, following his crap last year where he chastised independent wrestlers asking for charity (specifically Evil Uno asking for someone else), saying they should be more financially responsible or some shit. I think the Strowman Express might hit some burned bridges.

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I don’t know his personal life but if he returns to Australia then it’s an easy decision for a Japanese company to offer him a spot in their cruiserweight division

I could see Black going to Japan as well if the pandemic situation continues to improve. I’m pretty sure though it’s mainly because i want to see him tear the house with Shingo, Okada and Ibushi.

How much of a financial drain with very little benefit was the entire NXT UK experiment? If you’re cutting because of “budget” why not start right there. It was only created to hurt World of Sport and it achieved its goal (although that might have happened without NXT UK). So few actually follow or care about that product. I’d do the same with 205 Live - none of those wrestlers are difference makers like some of those released today. It’s all very bizarre

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I understand the idea behind the different brands, but they just miss the mark and haven’t succeeded.

NXT UK was seemingly created to both cater to and combat the growing UK indie scene. However, I doubt they really connected with that market. Although it’s hard to know given the pandemic. Everybody is pretty much at the same level they started at.
Although one could argue the TV exposure has made them more valuable.

The CWC was a fantastic idea. However none of it carried through to 205 Live. Remember when they tried to tour, really trying to basically be another brand, and headlined their shows with Hardy / Wyatt?
It should have been a brand targeting indie fans, something along the lines of what NXT briefly was. However it was almost immediately forgotten and just became another hour of content for the network.

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Has it gone how they hoped? Can’t say it’s gone to plan. But there’s been some success stories there that I’d say breaks through the idea of everyone being at the same level. Dunne and Mustache Mountain were unknowns on the North America front. GYV/Lorcan-Burch/Imperium as teams have been imported already to the US. Dragunov would probably be here already if not for COVID. And probably the most consequential thing will be in being a bridge towards WALTER joining WWE, which I doubt he would have had enough of a pull otherwise. It only had a year and a half before their shutdown and while that was rocky, the show since returning has been far more focused and I think the next year will be far more fruitful. Seeing that they are looking to expand the idea rather than close it down, if the company is giving it time to figure things out, I have to as well before calling it a failure or success.

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Fair enough.
I guess my question is - if all those talents were released, and went on the North American indie scene, would any of them convince “TV Wrestling Fans”, who are largely unaware of non-WWE wrestling, to get off their couch and go check out a show?

To me, they are all incredible talents and attractive to a certain audience. The question is that if the RAW or Smackdown viewer cares about them. That’s why I am wondering if they’re at a different level.

And to be clear, I’m not putting value at being at that specific level.

I’d say as an artist, being an arthouse hit is probably more fulfilling than purely being a box office smash.

It’s related to NXT’s whole purpose too. Why is a guy making as much as Balor does down in NXT when he could be a top guy on the main roster? They failed at trying to stifle AEW’s growth with this strategy and now its biting them in the ass.

Why was Aleistair Black in NXT for so long, made into something special and then not used on the main roster? Wouldn’t he have been better served just going straight to the main roster? Wouldn’t Strowman or Omos have been better served learning more in NXT? The entire system is just ass backwards

CM Punk nails it.

Something I’ve said for years in terms of this, WWE could be the MCU. Instead, they’ve accepted being the Transformers movies.

Both are giant FX driven blockbusters franchises. One is highly regarded and acclaimed for its rich storytelling and well laid out long-term storytelling, the other… Is a bunch of explosions, robots, and shitty filmmaking.

Also, just saw the third hour if Raw did 1.1M. People are tuning out in crazy numbers. There are more alternatives than ever, and both fans and workers are realizing this.

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Really nice analogy.

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