On April 15, WWE released 10 talents from their contracts. It came exactly one year after WWE did the same thing in 2020, releasing a ton of talents during the beginning of the pandemic. While there is lots to say about WWE’s business practices (like how WWE had record revenue in 2020 and still released folks) let’s talk about the talents and their next steps.
All of the wrestlers released will find work in the wrestling business once their 90 day no-compete clause is up. Where should each one go? Here are some ideas of where each one may land in the wrestling landscape.
Samoa Joe – AEW
There are simply too many dream matches available in AEW for Samoa Joe to go anywhere else. I’m excited that Joe will be able to wrestle again, but his run in WWE could and should have been so much more. Imagine Joe moving to AEW to lock up with Jon Moxley, Kenny Omega and Adam Page. Joe could have great matches with up-and-coming stars like Darby Allin and MJF as well. I know it’s cliche to say a released WWE wrestler should go to AEW, but Samoa Joe just fits so well.
Mickie James – NWA
This one feels almost too easy, so it may not happen. Mickie James is married to Nick Aldis, the current NWA Heavyweight Champion. The women’s division in NWA could use an influx of talent, and James can still go in the ring. Sign me up for a James-Thunder Rosa match or a match versus Kamille, and also give NWA a power couple to rule their revamped show.
Peyton Royce & Billie Kay – AEW
What a get it would be for All Elite Wrestling to get both of the IIconics. AEW still has a ways to go to showcase their women’s division properly. Adding more talent in Peyton Royce & Billie Kay would give them even more talented women on the roster. After their senseless break-up in WWE, both proved they could be viable singles acts. Put together as a team (maybe as the female addition to the Pinnacle alongside Royce’s real-life husband Shawn Spears) would be a money maker for AEW.
Chelsea Green – Impact
One of the most interesting prospects released was Chelsea Green. At only 30 years old and with a ton of potential, it was odd to see Green released. A return to Impact Wrestling could be in the cards for Green, returning to her gimmick of Lauren Van Ness. Impact has always run a great women’s division, and she could join to feud with the likes of Tenille Dashwood, Jordynne Grace & Deonna Purrazzo.
Kalisto – ROH
The high-flying Kalisto will have his fair share of opportunities outside of WWE. I would love to see Kalisto head to New Japan and participate in the Battle of the Super Juniors. He could also return to AAA in Mexico or PWG when it resumes running shows. I think Ring of Honor could be a good fit for Kalisto as well. They have a ton of masked luchadores (Bandido, Flamita, etc.) and Kalisto could feud with or team with any of them and give ROH even more midcard depth.
Tucker – Impact
Formerly one half of Heavy Machinery, Tucker is a hard one to predict. He wasn’t seen as a star like Otis, but was a good enough hand in the ring. Giving him more reps in the ring or more opportunity would let him develop further. How about Impact giving him a shot? Tucker feels similar to Madman Fulton, where if he’s part of a stable or given a specific role he could really shine. Let them try it once again with Tucker.
Mojo Rawley – MLW
It was surprising to see Rawley among the cuts, given what a good ambassador he’d been for the company. Still, he’ll make for a great addition to a roster. What about Major League Wrestling? The promotion continues to expand, and now has a television deal with Vice TV. Rawley gives them some name recognition from WWE fans, plus who doesn’t want to get hype?
Wesley Blake – Impact
This is a bit of a tag team booking, as I think both Blake and the previously-released Steve Cutler become a tag team somewhere else. The two have potential, plus won’t get derailed by having the somehow-still-employed Jaxson Ryker with them. Impact could use some more teams in their tag team division. Add these two to The Good Brothers, The Motor City Machine Guns and Violent By Design and let them go to work.
Bo Dallas – Out of wrestling
This one is not a matter of skill, but is based instead on some reports about Dallas’ plans. Bo Dallas is a talented wrestler. His run as NXT Champion was one of the best things about early NXT. He was criminally underused in the last few years and could have been a valuable piece. Dallas is apparently preparing for life after wrestling, living with girlfriend Liv Morgan and studying to do real estate. If Dallas is ready to leave the wrestling world, he’ll be missed.