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WWE: Black Wednesday


WWE: Black Wednesday

Yesterday was a sad day for the wrestling industry as WWE released some of their in-ring talent and some producers and writers were put on furlough. Being put on furlough is a suspension without pay against being made redundant. Employees could be reinstated at some point but who knows when. With the world going through a pandemic WWE has made these decisions from a business stand point.

WWE has said that these cuts are to help keep their profit margin. Nine producers including Fit Finlay, Billy Kidman and Gregory Helms have been put on furlough according to reports. Reports also suggest 40% of their employees will be put on furlough but no official confirmation of this by WWE yet with no house shows and only essential staff at tapings there are a lot of personnel which will not be needed until Covid-19 is under control and WWE are able to do arena shows again. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer is reporting that today’s cuts will save them $4 million a month, the talent cuts alone will save them $703,000 a month. But questions will be asked if they actually needed to do this as they apparently have $500 million cash reserve. According to reports by leading wrestling journalists they have enough money to pay their employees and make a significant profit this year without the cuts. WWE has also put a hold on it’s development of a new headquarters for at least six months.
It’s also worth noting that their stock value closed at a higher price than when it opened, all this ahead of a WWE financial report due Thursday 23nd April.
I’d imagine once WWE starts to get back up to running to full time schedule we will see them hire back some talent. Big names have been let go such as Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows who both featured in the main event of Wrestlemania night 1 this year, Erick Rowan who was in a big angle with Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns at the end of last year. Rusev has been let go along with long standing company men Heath Slater and Zack Ryder.
The full list of superstars are as follows:
-Drake Maverick (James Curtin)

-Karl Anderson (Chad Allegra)

-Luke Gallows (Drew Hankinson)

-Lio Rush (Lionel Green)

-EC3 (Michael Hutter)

-Curt Hawkins (Brian Myers)

-Eric Young (Jeremy Fritz)

-Heath Slater (Heath Miller)

-Kurt Angle

-Aiden English (Matthew Rehwoldt)

-Sarah Logan (Sarah Rowe)

-Referee Mike Chioda

-Primo (Edwin Colon)

-Epico (Orlando Colon Nieves)

-Rowan (Joseph Ruud)

-Mike Kanellis (Mike Bennett)

-Maria Kanellis

-Zack Ryder (Matthew Cardona)

-No Way Jose (Levis Valenzuela Jr.)

-Rusev (Miroslav Barnyashev)

Also, we must think that The Revival were granted their release late last week with this day in mind. With no independent shows happening and other companies not hiring it certainly a worrying time for these wrestlers. Looking at AEW, they must be looking at this from a PR standpoint and if they can keep hold of their talent and staff, have the attitude of they were kinder and a better company looking after its employees. It’s a marketing look they will want to look at for sure.

Wednesday the 15th April will always be remembered as ‘Black Wednesday’ in WWE and wrestling history. For more information, you can find here the financial statement of the WWE from 16th April.

You can can follow Anthony Davies on Twitter at Antos_87 and Wrestling Culture @mywcnews


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