Going Ringside Ep. 31: Mass WWE layoffs

Discussing the massive roster cuts following the merger with UFC. Also looking at Vince McMahon’s future with WWE

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – For weeks, there had been talk that WWE would start cutting staff following its merger with UFC into the newly formed TKO Group. That process really became noticeable last week when — on what some are calling “Black Thursday” multiple low and high profile wrestlers were cut from the roster. The two most high profile wrestlers were Dolph Ziggler and Shelton Benjamin. Ziggler had been with WWE for almost two decades and Benjamin was on his second run with the company and had been a fixture there in some capacity since the early 2000′s. Then the following day there was another high profiled departure, Matt Riddle. Riddle’s departure came on the heels of some personal drama he was involved with involving allegations he made that an airport police officer in New York had sexually assaulted him.

Beyond those three here is a list of just some of the talent who has been let go from the company:

  • Elias
  • Mustafa Ali
  • Top Dolla
  • Riddick Moss
  • Emma
  • Aliyah
  • Rick Boogs
  • Quincy Elliott
  • Bryson Montana
  • Dana Brooke
  • Mansoor (Mån.sôör)
  • Mace (Ma.çé)
  • Shanky
  • Dabba-Kato (AKA Babatunde and Commander Azeez)
  • Yulisa Leon
  • Daniel McArthur
  • Kevin Ventura-Cortez
  • Alexis Gray
  • Brooklyn Barlow
  • Ikemen Jiro
  • Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald

In this episode we also look at the long term future for longtime WWE owner Vince McMahon. His role with the company has shifted following the merger as he’s now a minority shareholder. But the company still considers him the head of WWE. His only technical boss is Ari Emanuel who was the owner of UFC/Endeavor and now is the majority share holder for TKO. There has been some speculation that the company could be positioning itself to part ways with McMahon following a Federal Investigation. McMahon was served a federal search warrant and subpoena in July as part of an ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission investigation. “Going Ringside” discussed that issue in depth on Episode 24.

About the Author:

Scott is a multi-Emmy Award Winning Anchor and Reporter, who also hosts the “Going Ringside With The Local Station” Podcast. Scott has been a journalist for 25 years, covering stories including six presidential elections, multiple space shuttle launches and dozens of high-profile murder trials.