From Dolphy Ziglar & Shelton Benjamin to Mustafa Ali and others, read on to know who all WWE has let go following recent merger and TV deal.
In a recent development, WWE SmackDown is poised to return to the USA Network, bidding farewell to its previous home on Fox as part of a new five-year deal set to kick off in October 2024. This transition is expected to usher in significant financial gains for the company, with reported revenue projections reaching a staggering $1.4 billion.
However, in a surprising twist, WWE, fresh from its merger with UFC to form TKO Group Holdings just a week prior, has initiated a series of personnel changes that have reverberated throughout the wrestling world, impacting both former champions and longtime talent.
On Thursday, WWE unveiled the list of stars who will no longer be part of their roster. While some wrestlers, including Mustafa Ali, Shelton Benjamin, Aliyah, and Emma, took to their social media platforms to announce their departures, others, like Dolphy Ziglar, AJ “Top Dollar” Francis, and more, had their releases confirmed by various reputable sources.
Let’s delve into the specifics of these significant departures. You may also check Daredevil Showrunner Exposes Disney’s Contract.
Dolphy Ziglar, a prominent figure in WWE’s storied history, known for his reigns as WWE World Heavyweight Champion and numerous Intercontinental and United States Championships, has been released by the company. Ziglar’s final bout under the WWE banner occurred on May 29 on WWE Raw when he faced off against JD McDonough.
Shelton Benjamin, a former member of the celebrated Hurt Business faction, chose to share his release announcement through his social media channels. In his heartfelt message, Benjamin expressed gratitude to WWE staff, fellow talent, and the loyal fanbase for their unwavering support throughout his illustrious career.
Benjamin, a former WWE Intercontinental Champion and United States Champion, had two significant stints with WWE, spanning from 2000 to 2010 and from 2017 until the present.
Emma, along with her husband, Riddick Moss, also took to social media to confirm their departure from WWE. Emma, who had previously displayed excitement about WWE’s Elimination Chamber event in Perth, Australia, shared the news of her release with a touch of wry humor, stating, “Oops, neverminded. I just got released… I am no longer with WWE.” This unexpected turn of events marks the end of her tenure with the company.
Riddick Moss added his thoughts, stating, “Well, I did it – I graduated from WWE. I know a lot of people think my career really took a downturn once Mr. Levesque took over, but, in actuality, my per match fee skyrocketed through the roof. Other promoters, get ready to back the brinks truck up.”
Rick Boogs, born Eric Bugenhagen, has also been released from WWE. He made his debut in 2017 on the NXT brand and last wrestled for WWE at the SummerSlam pay-per-view, where he competed in the Slim Jim Battle Royale.
Aliyah, who had been with WWE since 2015 and spent nearly six years in NXT before joining SmackDown in 2021, revealed on social media that she was no longer part of WWE. Her last match was on the September 12, 2022, episode of WWE Raw. You should also read Kanye West’s Scandalous Fashion Shoot in Italy Sparks.
Additional wrestlers reportedly released from the company include Elias, Top Dollar, Mace, Mansoor, Dana Brooke, Quincy Elliot, Bryson Montana, Dabba-Kato, Shank, Yuliya Leon, and others. These changes mark a significant shift in WWE’s roster, and fans will undoubtedly be eager to see how the company evolves in the wake of these departures.