A new report has given new details on the reasons WWE Superstars were given for their release from the company, and whether their vaccination status played a role.
On November 4th, it was announced that 18 WWE Superstars had been released from their contracts as part of a new round of budget cuts. The releases included big names such as former NXT Champion Keith Lee, Nia Jax, and Karrion Kross.
Shortly after the news of the releases emerged, rumours began to circulate that some were linked to the Superstars’ COVID-19 vaccination status. Nia Jax was initially identified as one of those whose release was due to this, but she issued a statement clarifying that her vaccination status was “never discussed” prior to her being let go.
Speaking on Wrestling Observer Radio, wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer claimed that there was no warning given to the wrestlers whose vaccination status played a part in their release.
“Everyone was told it was budgetary reasons. So on the vax story – there were several people, I don’t know the names specifically. It was not everyone but it was probably a half dozen or more that did not get vaxxed that were cut. And it was very much part of the reason.”
“Now the thing is, and I know this from a couple of different people because I asked ‘were you told that if you don’t get vaxxed that you were in trouble?’ Because if your boss goes – especially with WWE, not so much with NXT because they don’t go all over the place but still for the WWE main roster, the idea is you’re gonna go to Mexico and you’re gonna go to Japan and you’re gonna go to Europe at some point and they’re already going to Europe.”
“That requires you to be vaccinated or they will not take you, you can’t go to Europe right now. So that is part of your job, you know these European tours and everything. So it is not unreasonable for the company to ask especially the main roster guys. But even the other ones, it’s not unreasonable to me for them to ask to get vaccinated. But they never told anyone to get vaccinated – I mean as far as I know – or threatened and said ‘you have to!’ I go ‘were you told that you needed to get vaccinated?’ and it was like ‘no.’”
The 18 WWE Superstars released on November 4th brings the total number of those released in 2021 to an astonishing 72, with other notable names including Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman, Malakai Black, and Ruby Soho.