As has been reported, Vince McMahon is spearheading changes to reduce $20 million in WWE payroll as part of the fall-out from underwhelming initial results for WWE Network and a disappointing television contract renewal with NBC Universal. The main roster, the creative staff, the production budget and even Triple H’s baby, NXT, have all been downsized.
As you can imagine, there are a lot of upset people in WWE over the company’s decision to release multiple wrestlers as a way to trim down costs. Some wrestlers noted frustration with WWE not at least opting to axe CM Punk’s lucrative contract after he walked out on the company in January. His deal pays him more in one year than what some undercard guys would make in four or five years.
It was recently reported in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that WWE may opt to rollover Punk’s contract when it expires in July as a way of preventing him from working anywhere else. That would mean that Punk still would get paid his downside guarantee while sitting at home even though WWE is under pressure to cut costs to keep Wallstreet happy. Punk, however, has no plans to return to work for the company and considers himself retired.
All together, eleven wrestlers and one creative writer were let go in the wave of firings. Those released were Aksana, Brodus Clay, Camacho, Curt Hawkins, Drew McIntyre, Evan Bourne, Jinder Mahal, JTG, Marc Harris, Theodore Long, Yoshi Tatsu and head writer Jay Gibson. WWE officials are evaluating the developmental roster and will be making cuts within the next month.
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