Reported Reasons Behind Recent WWE Cuts & Talent Releases

News broke yesterday that many WWE stars had been released, including tenured names like Dolph Ziggler and Shelton Benjamin, from both the main and "WWE NXT" developmental rosters. These roster cuts follow a number of staff layoffs following WWE's merger with UFC

Dave Meltzer wrote in the "Wrestling Observer Newsletter" that it was "well known there would be massive cuts", with plans to cut back on $50-100 million in expenses on the WWE side of TKO Group Holdings. He also noted that most of the cuts had been made due to "duplication of work" on the Endeavor side of things, an issue more commonly referred to as redundancy. Employees were reportedly told that all major cuts made were related to the merger.

Meltzer noted that in comparison with UFC's own acquisition in 2016 by Endeavor, WWE employees were left very bitter, as they were told that there would be no more cuts after the initial wave, then there were. Likewise, although it was said previously that there would be no major cuts made to places like talent, creative, production, or on the "NXT" side, Meltzer noted that the situation changed in six days and occurred similarly to before, only UFC never made cuts to talent while WWE has cut talent they've not been using. Going further on the talent releases, he reported that the key was that the talent was making main roster money but not being used on the main roster, and there was a belief that they weren't likely to be used in the future. "It's time in vs. how much money you are paid vs. return on investment," Meltzer said he had heard from a WWE official. WWE has declined to comment on Meltzer's reporting.