WWE Releasing 40% Staff

“This story has been updated to include additional wrestlers who were let go from WWE.”

Due to COVID-19, WWE is releasing 40% of their employees. Already, dozens of names have been let go and more will be announced in the coming days.

WWE Releasing 40% Of Their Staff Due To COVID-19, Current List

WWE Releasing 40% Staff

Right now, the world is struggling due to the coronavirus. Many companies have laid off or fired employees.

WWE is no different as they are forced to make major cuts. Wrestling Inc. noted that during a call today, Vince McMahon said 40% of the staff will be cut. 

So far, WWE has confirmed the release of several wrestlers and backstage personnel.

Current List Of Released Names

Rusev
Drake Maverick
Curt Hawkins
Primo
Epico
Mike Kanellis
Maria Kanellis
No Way Jose
Karl Anderson
Luke Gallows
Erick Rowan
Zack Ryder
Heath Slater
Sarah Logan
Eric Young
EC3
Lio Rush
Aiden English
Lance Storm
Billy Kidman
Mike Rotunda
Dave Finlay
Pat Buck
Shawn Daivari
Mike Chioda
Aleksandar Jaksica
Scott Armstrong
Gregory Helms
Sarah Stock
Kurt Angle
Deonna Purrazzo

What Now?

Some of the names let go recently re-signed with WWE such as Anderson and Gallows. To release someone like Angle, it shows the bad shape WWE is currently in.  

Never in the history of WWE have so many names been let go. WWE and the world are facing a virus that we have never seen before.

There is no word if the released names must follow a 90 day non-compete clause. If they do not, companies like All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) are likely not adding to their roster.

Like WWE, AEW and NJPW are feeling the pressure of the coronavirus. For example, AEW have taped several months of TV and NJPW stopped live events as the virus has no end in sight.

It is likely that more names will more confirmed in the coming hours and days. During the call, McMahon did say some employees will be placed on furlough. 

People being let go will immediately receive a text message from WWE’s Human Resource Department. McMahon continued that he hopes to bring back his employees when the pandemic subsides. 

The news comes only days after the XFL filed for bankruptcy. McMahon is looking to see if anyone will purchase the failed league.

WWE’s Statement On COVID-19 Impact

WWE PROVIDES COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATE

STAMFORD, Conn., April 15, 2020 – WWE (NYSE: WWE) today provided an update on measures taken by the Company in response to the current impact of COVID-19 on the organization.

Due to COVID-19 and current government mandated impacts on WWE and the media business. The Company went through an extensive evaluation of its operations over the past several weeks. This analysis resulted in the implementation of various short-term cost reductions and cash flow improvement actions including:

 Reducing executive and board member compensation;

 Decreasing operating expenses;

 Cutting talent expenses, third party staffing and consulting;

 Deferring spend on the build out of the Company’s new headquarters for at least six months.

Given the uncertainty of the situation, the Company also identified headcount reductions and made the decision to furlough a portion of its workforce effective immediately. The decision to furlough versus permanently reduce headcount reflects the fact that the Company currently believes the furlough will be temporary in nature.

The Company’s reductions of employee compensation and headcount result in an estimated monthly savings of $4 million along with cash flow improvement of $140 million primarily from the deferral in spending on the Company’s new headquarters. Additionally, the Company has substantial financial resources, both available cash and debt capacity, which currently total approximately $0.5 billion, to manage the challenges ahead. Management continues to believe the fundamentals of the Company’s business remain strong. And, that WWE is well positioned to take full advantage of the changing media landscape and increasing value of live sports rights over the longer term.

The Company will provide further details when it reports its first quarter 2020 results next Thursday, April 23 after the close of the market.

Reaction From Fans

We will have to see if WWE announces all the releases today. The process might take place over several days or weeks.

In conclusion, hopefully WWE can rebound and bring back those that were let go. Until then, we can only hope that the virus can be controlled.

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