WWE Releases: Here's What Happened To Future Endeavored Wrestlers In 2020
With releases like Billie Kay and Samoa Joe this year, here's what happened with last year's layoffs.
WWE has begun its 2021 annual layoffs from the company, resulting in many popular superstars being "future endeavored." While the pain of seeing your favorite wrestler being let go from the company may sting right now, there is hopefully a light at the end of the tunnel for most of these wrestlers who will continue their careers.
Here's what happened to most of 2020's WWE Black Wednesday releases, as many of them found new homes at various other promotions. So while it may hurt now, let's see how things turned out for others in the same situation. However, it's going to be a little bit of a wait to see what happens since WWE has a no compete clause in its contracts, so be patient.
While there were many huge names in WWE lost their jobs in 2020, nothing was more emotional and heartbreaking than the passionate video Drake Maverick put out on Twitter after he was let go. However, he was still slated to compete in the Interim NXT Cruiserweight Title Tournament, which took place after his release. Maverick made it into the finals and his release became part of the story. Maverick didn't win the tournament, but Triple H offered him an NXT contract after the tournament concluded.
The Good Brothers
Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson have bounced around a lot since their WWE release, but in the best way possible. On July 18, the duo appeared at Impact's Slammiversary PPV, and from there, they became a stable part of the Impact roster. Additionally, the two have hosted two PPV events on Fite titled Talk 'N Shop A Mania--a over-the-top, ridiculous, comedic wrestling event that is well worth the price of admission. Currently, Gallows and Anderson are teamed up with AEW's Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks on AEW's weekly programming. Yes, they're crossing over between promotions, but you probably already knew that.
Purrazzo was working her way up the WWE ladder appearing in the Mae Young Classic then to NXT then to Monday Night Raw. It was at that level she got released. Since then, Purrazzo is a leader of the women's division on Impact. At Slammiversary, Purrazzo defeated Jordyn Grace to become the Knockouts Champion. She lost the title once since then, regained it, and most recently retired Jazz at Hardcore Justice. Her release from WWE was a huge win for Impact.
The former 3MB member was involved in a very fun storyline after he popped up on Impact's Slammiversary. He declared himself a free agent, trying to catch the eye of executive Scott D'Amore, in hopes of getting a contract with the company. He's also been partnered with his old tag team buddy from WWE Rhino again. And for those recently release, Heath has some words for them.
I know it sucks I was there 1 year ago today. But don’t worry keep your head up and keep moving forward. You all are so talented. https://t.co/8jS8imwWXq— HEATHXXII (@HEATHXXII) April 15, 2021
The company that gave EC3 his name, Impact, was the first post-WWE stop for the wrestler. He was involved in a feud with Moose for a short time, but that was it for him at Impact. In October, EC3 appeared on Ring of Honor television, and in February, he signed a contract with the promotion.
Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder
Better known as Brian Myers and Matt Cardona. The duo are currently working together again at Impact--along with their podcast The Major Wrestling Figure Podcast. While Myers has been with Impact since July 2020, Cardona took a different path. Cardona first popped up on AEW's Dynamite which led to a PPV match at All Out later in the year under a limited appearance deal. Reportedly, Cardona currently has that same deal with Impact as well. It's just nice to see him and Myers reunited on TV again.
Happy Rusev Day! Rusev's--known as Miro now--release came as a major shock to many wrestling fans. In September 2020, Miro popped up on AEW as the best man to Kip Sabian to his upcoming wedding. Miro has leaned in heavily to something from his personal life: he loves video games. On many episode of Dynamite, Miro and Sabian can be seen ringside or backstage playing arcade games.
Many released from WWE have found happiness outside of the ring. Matthew Rehwoldt, formerly known as Aiden English, found himself on YouTube and Twitch, finding a new passion for the world of gaming, podcasting, and talking to people online. He recently started the interview series Straight Shooting, where he talks to fellow wrestlers--this YouTube channel also has a lot of content based around Rehwoldt's other passion, whiskey. Matt recently released a video on YouTube discussing his feelings of being released during the pandemic, one year after is happened.
Many other of these released wrestlers found themselves in Impact, AEW, ROH, or the indies. And honestly, it's a trying time for wrestlers and wrestling as a whole since there's still a global pandemic happening, and wrestling is very much a live experience. So while seeing your favorite stars get let go may be a huge bummer and hurt, there will be something new and exciting for them in the future, just like what happened with those let go in 2020.