WWE released another batch of talented NXT wrestlers Friday night.
In what has been an alarming pattern throughout 2021, WWE released another batch of wrestlers. The releases were first reported by Fightful. Here’s the full list of released talent:
- Bronson Reed
- Bobby Fish
- Leon Ruff
- Mercedes Martinez
- Jake Atlas
- Tyler Rust
- Asher Hale
- Giant Zanjeer
- Kona Reeves
- Zechariah Smith
- Ari Sterling
- Stephon Smith
Reed sticks out as a surprise. Not two months ago he was the NXT North American Champion. Reed had a unique look and tons of talent in the ring. He took to Twitter to announce his release:
Just got released from @WWE
This monster is back on the loose … you don't know WHAT you've just done.#WWE
— Bronson Reed (@bronsonreedwwe) August 7, 2021
Ruff was also a former NXT North American Champion, and Bobby Fish was part of one of the best stables in NXT’s history in the Undisputed Era. Speaking of Undisputed Era, Tyler Rust was part of the Diamond Mine alongside former UE member Roderick Strong. That stable is now down one more with Rust’s release.
Many are confused about the cuts, but apparently, this is part of a larger direction shift for WWE. According to Dave Meltzer, NXT is going back to their developmental days after losing the AEW war. Check out this thread from Trevor Dame for more details:
Dave says HHH and HBK did not pick the NXT cuts. Vince, Prichard and Laurenaitis did. NXT lost the war and they're going to change, back toward an older style of development. Big guys, young guys.
— Trevor Dame (@TrevorDame) August 8, 2021
If that’s the future of NXT, it’s a dark day for the most consistent WWE offering of the last decade. More releases may be on the horizon then, so we will have to wait and see. WWE apparently wants “no more midgets, no one starting in their 30s. They want people that can be box office attractions and main characters.” A bleak outlook for sure.