Yesterday, there was a rumor that hit the net about more WWE releases and today it actually happened. When I checked the names out, I wasn’t entirely surprised but decided that with my recent writings on wrestling again (the Dark Sides, AEW review, WWE’s future), I felt another blog would be great to put my thoughts in order for the people who got the axe.
- Aleister Black – Despite recently returning, the fact that he was on the sidelines and had a small amount of controversy as a result of his wife getting the boot for her stance on Twitch, etc. make me believe that he was far from safe. In fact, I think him returning to TV in some form was more surprising than being let go. Not sure where he’ll end up but I think it’s almost safe to say that Aleister and Zelina are going to possibly continue together if they want to stay in the business.
- Ruby Riott – Saw very little of her and was familiar with her name but I don’t feel she was that huge in WWE. I’m guessing when her contract no-compete runs out, she’ll continue wherever the Iiconics go as a package type of deal. So my guess right now is that TNA might sign her up or she might return to the independents/Shimmer.
- Lana – The least surprising to me given that in all fairness, she wasn’t very good and only was over when she was a mouthpiece for Miro. If she continues to want to be in the business, I won’t be surprised to see her show up by Miro’s side in AEW. That’s almost a guarantee. If she wants to continue and pursue wrestling, she’d be better off in a spot like Shimmer or even TNA since I’ve read their women’s division is actually decent.
- Santana Garrett – This one is sad on a variety of levels but just not surprising given that she was used so little. However, she’s still in her prime and has a good foundation. She’s the one female I really hope goes to AEW just because she has good ability, a great look and would make a fine women’s champion there.
- Buddy Murphy – Don’t know much about him. People are saying he should be booked in AEW with Lio Rush, whom until recently, I also had no idea about beyond a few name droppings on various internet websites.
- Braun Strowman – People are clamoring over this guy as the biggest surprise. I knew the name because he seemed to be someone who’d frequently come up in reports but I just never had the chance to see him. He’s reaching his late 30s, which means that from a shelf-life perspective, he’s nearing the end. So I bet he’ll end up in AEW just because he has some name recognition. If Brodie Lee had still been around, I’m sure Strowman would have been added to the Dark Order. Either way, he’s my biggest bet to make a big debut there in a few months.
Of course, the other half of the internet rumor mill that’s heating up massively is that the WWE is preparing for a sale. The promotion of various executives, especially this Nick Khan lawyer guy to president, at what seems to be the expense of this fat trimming is said to be the result of the preparation for a sale. I have been saying on other websites that I can see the WWE being sold to Disney (which makes a LOT of sense to me). Given that MGM just was sold to Amazon, I could see more mega media buyouts happening.
Now, the other network that seems likely is NBCUniversal. Since the WWE just had their entire library content moved to the Peacock streaming service and digitized, there’s a pretty damn good chance that this is where they’ll land. Traditionally, WWE has good relations with NBC with the old Saturday Night Main Events. And I think they aren’t as sterile as Disney, although Disney would probably be more suited in a long term scheme minus the Attitude Era and the ECW portion of their library. So we’ll have to see about this.
The only thing is that NBCUniversal probably will just treat as a pure content studio. But if this buyout does occur, I think pro-wrestling in 5 years as we currently know it will flame out. We might see the rise of independents in greater numbers as well as the possible loosening of venues. Maybe even a return in 20 years to regional wrestling. Yet it won’t be the same without Vince at the helm in the same capacity. Then again in 5-20 years, I can’t see Vince around anyway.