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A Full List of WWE Releases (2020 & 2021)

The Grevas Report

Welcome back to The Grevas Report. This edition is going to be a little different. Instead of my normal column where I deep dive into a particular subject, this week I’m going to list every single WWE release (2020 & 2021). “Why?” you ask. Because as much as we talk about these releases, there’s a certain power to seeing them all listed next to each other. To get a full picture of all the names that have been let go (or not had their contracts renewed) and to stop and think about how massive of an undertaking this has been by WWE. How this decision to stockpile talent and then let over 100 of them go has changed the business, forever. Because it has. Here’s the list of WWE releases (2020 & 2021).

  1. Kurt Angle
  2. Ric Flair
  3. Bray Wyatt
  4. Big Show. (Contract expired)
  5. Andrade
  6. Braun Strowman
  7. Aleister Black
  8. Karl Anderson
  9. Luke Gallows
  10. Eric Young
  11. Deonna Purrazzo
  12. Mickie James
  13. Billie Kaye
  14. Peyton Royce
  15. Chelsea Green
  16. Matt Cardona
  17. Rusev (Miro)
  18. Renee Young (contract expired)
  19. Christian Cage (not under performer contract)
  20. Mark Henry (not under performer contract)
  21. Karrion Kross
  22. Scarlett
  23. Keith Lee
  24. John Morrison
  25. Franky Monet
  26. Lio Rush
  27. Ethan Carter III
  28. Mia Yim
  29. Mercedes Martinez
  30. Bronson Reed
  31. Bobby Fish
  32. Buddy Murphy
  33. Ruby Riott
  34. Ember Moon
  35. Tegan Knox
  36. Sarah Logan
  37. Heath Slater
  38. Tony Nese
  39. Lana
  40. Santana Garrett
  41. Tyler Breeze
  42. Fandango
  43. Oney Lorcan
  44. Curt Hawkins
  45. Harry Smith
  46. Kalisto
  47. Gran Metallik
  48. Lince Dorado
  49. Nia Jax
  50. Drake Maverick
  51. Mike Kanellis
  52. Maria Kanellis
  53. Steve Cutler
  54. Wesley Blake
  55. Alexander Wolfe
  56. Killian Dane
  57. Erick Rowan
  58. Kassius Ohno
  59. Curtis Axel
  60. Bo Dallas
  61. Tucker
  62. The Bollywood Boyz
  63. B-Fab
  64. Ashante The Adonis
  65. Top Dolla
  66. Isaiah Scott
  67. Akam and Rezar
  68. Aiden English
  69. Shane Thorne aka Slapjack
  70. No Way Jose
  71. Jaxson Ryker
  72. Eva Marie
  73. The Velveteen Dream
  74. Ever-Rise
  75. Cain Velasquez
  76. Primo and Epico
  77. Gerald Brisco
  78. Mike Rotunda
  79. Mike Chioda
  80. Cathy Kelley
  81. Lars Sullivan
  82. Drake Wuertz
  83. Ariya Daivari
  84. Kona Reeves
  85. Tino Sabbatelli
  86. Vanessa Borne
  87. Skyler Story
  88. Jake Atlas
  89. Leon Ruff
  90. Ari Sterling
  91. Asher Hale
  92. Desmond Troy
  93. MJ Jenkins
  94. Aleksandar Jaksic
  95. Katrina Cortez
  96. Jeet Rama
  97. Trey Baxter
  98. Jessi Kamea
  99. Zayda Ramier
  100. Kavita Devi
  101. Ezra Judge
  102. Jessamyn Duke
  103. Curt Stallion
  104. August Grey
  105. Arturo Ruas
  106. Marina Shafir
  107. Giant Zanjeer
  108. Referee Jake Clemons
  109. Referee Stephon Smith
  110. Tyler Rust
  111. Zechariah Smith

WWE logo on Titan Tower

This list doesn’t include the countless office staff that was let go or even Samoa Joe or Zelina Vega, both of whom were released and rehired. Let’s take a collective pause to let both the number of names and the individual names themselves that were let go sink in. Then let’s also stop and think about how Ring of Honor is letting their entire roster go in the coming months, moving to a business model where nobody will be under contract.

Now let’s think about how many jobs in the wrestling business actually exist. A lot of these names have caught on with AEW, Impact, or elsewhere by now. There were advantages to being let go first. But looking at this list, there’s a lot of names you don’t see working anywhere yet. Some of them are still under no-compete clauses and we’ll see them turn up somewhere eventually. But when you look at the rosters for AEW, Impact, and MLW, they’re full or close to it. They aren’t going to be able to bring in too many more talents.

Which leaves the indies. Sure, you can make a living on the indies but they have a budget too. Only so many names can make decent money. This means that some people currently on the indies are going to start making less money or get fewer bookings because the market has been flooded by WWE and ROH releasing in the neighborhood of 150 wrestlers in less than two years.

And who’s to say that WWE is done releasing talent? By all indications, they aren’t. Where do those talents go? I see a lot of people commenting about how stacked the indies are becoming, which is true to some extent, but unless fans are following talent and not companies (WWE), those stacked independent shows aren’t guaranteed to make enough money to keep paying the big-name talent that used to be on TV. There’s a serious ripple effect stemming from WWE (and Ring of Honor) making these business choices. Unless fans are going to reallocate the money they spend on wrestling and shift it from WWE to a new promotion, we’re looking at a problematic economy in the wrestling business. The end result? Talented wrestlers will have to find work outside of the industry.

Years from now, historians and journalists alike in the wrestling business will study this era. It’s impossible to know how things play out from here or how many more people will be released before this bloodletting is over but this is a generation-defining story that continues to unfold.

Written by Andrew Grevas

Andrew is the owner & CEO of 25YL Media, the parent company of Sports Obsessive, Lifelong Cincinnati Bengals fan, obsessed with dynasty football leagues and former pro wrestling commentator who finally got his one more match from CM Punk.

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