This year, WWE has released over 80 talent due to budget cuts starting in February. The list includes several big names, from former World Champions in Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt to former NXT Champions like Keith Lee, Aleister Black and Karrion Kross.

One of the other names on the list was former NXT North American Champion Bronson Reed aka Jonah. The former NXT superstar spoke about his release during an interview with Denise Salcedo. Jonah revealed during the interview why the releases are an issue for the locker room and mentioned that he never thought he was ever in jeopardy of being released.

“It’s definitely not good for morale,” Jonah said. “I’ve spoken to people who are still there, it just puts people on edge, people walking around on eggshells and stuff like that. For example, when the first few rounds of cuts happened; which are never good when someone gets released. I was one of those people that never worried about it. I never thought I was going to be released.

“From speaking to some of the higher ups in WWE they always said things like ‘You’re gonna have a job for a long time’ and not to worry. Then when I was released, people that are close to me in NXT and WWE are now worried for themselves… I think a lot of people put their faith into the talent that ‘of course you’re not gonna be released, you’re too talented.’ But I don’t think it’s about that. I don’t know a hundred percent why they were doing the releases, they always cite things like budget cuts but it’s definitely not budget cuts {laughs} I am not a hundred percent sure why but it can happen to anyone.”

Jonah debuted for IMPACT at Turning Point, marking his second post WWE appearance, his first being with NJPW. The former NXT North American Champion continued to detail his phone call with John Laurinaitis and his instant reaction to being released. The 33-year-old also spoke about what people inside the WWE have told him about why he was released by the company.

“Me being me, I questioned it right away,” Jonah said. “I wanted answers straight away. I spoke to John Laurinaitis and he said, `Hey, we’re releasing you, you have so many days non compete,’ I said ‘Okay cool, what is the reasoning for you releasing me?’ He gave me more of a blanket statement that didn’t help me at all. It was just, ‘It’s a no for now but the door is always open.’

“I’d rather you tell me, it was something to do with character or we didn’t like your size or we didn’t like how you moved in the ring; whatever it is because then I know I can work on that and change it. To my knowledge it was nothing like that. I guess they just didn’t see me fitting it. I’ve heard from multiple people, whether it’s true or not, because you hear so many stories backstage, that it came down to a look thing. I guess if they don’t like the way you look they don’t want you on the television program.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Instinct Culture with Denise Salcedo with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

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