Bryan Danielson has given his thoughts on the latest round of WWE releases saying it’s “not right.”
On November 4th 18 Superstars were released by WWE taking the total number of wrestlers released by the company in 2021 to 72.
Danielson himself left the company earlier in 2021, but due to his contract expiring in April he was in control of his own destiny.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Danielson reflected on the latest set of releases, which came just hours after WWE announced their third quarter earnings which included sizable profits. The American Dragon said that the releases weren’t right, but sympathised with his father-in-law John Laurinaitis, who had to call the Superstars who were being let go.
“In some ways, I get it. In some ways, I feel like it’s not right. It’s hard because my father-in-law [John Laurinaitis] is head of talent relations and he is the one who has to call them all. One of the things that I’ve always had a hard time with, and I’ve been fired from WWE twice, so I kind of get this; it’s one thing if somebody does something bad.”
“If you’re under contract and you’re not happy with the company, if they can fire you and give you 90 days, you should be able to give them 90 days to be released from your contract. On the flip side, if they’re only firing you because of budget cuts when they’re profitable than ever, I just don’t think that’s right.”
Expanding further, Danielson discussed WWE’s earlier policy of offering it’s stars large contracts to ward off interest from AEW.
“They signed a lot of people behind contracts with AEW started to keep people from going to AEW then they realized, ‘AEW can’t sign all these people,’ so now the people that have too many high-end contracts if they feel like they are getting paid more than they should be getting paid, they’ll let them go. You offered them a contract to be with you for three years, if you overpaid them, that’s your bad and you’re still a very profitable company.”
“I wish they wouldn’t, but I also understand it’s business in America. Profits tend to be the most important things for companies. You can even talk to the people within the company. I love Vince McMahon and have learned so much from him, but companies are not people.”
“Corporations are their own people but for whatever reason, even good people make decisions that benefit a company that hurt the people that have worked so hard for the company. That’s hard on me mentally but it’s also the system that has been rewarded financially in the United States.”
Bryan Danielson then compared the way that WWE has released numerous talents this year, to how Tony Khan manages his talent roster in AEW.
“I kind of just accepted that that’s what it was, except now I work for AEW. Tony Khan, he’s only let go of three people since the pandemic started and they were all disciplinary reasons. Other people, who are no longer with the company, if he didn’t want them, their contract expired and they weren’t re-signed. That’s how he approaches it.”
“Until I saw that and dealt with that, I always thought (WWE’s way) was unfair, but ‘it’s just the way wrestling is and it works,’ except Tony Khan came in and he doesn’t do that. AEW from a money standpoint makes way less money than WWE. Things like that led me to want to go to AEW as well.”