A total of 10 WWE NXT talents were released today – Dexter Lumis, Malcolm Bivens, Dakota Kai, Harland, Persia Pirotta, Raelyn Divine, Draco Anthony, Vish Kanya, Mila Malani, Blair Baldwin.
In an update, WWE Talent Relations head John Laurinaitis issued an internal e-mail to the company this afternoon to announce the departures, according to Fightful Select. He cited budget cuts as the reason for the releases.
“Due to budgetary cuts, and with immediate effect as of today, 4/29/2022, we have come to the terms to release the following,” the internal e-mail from Laurinaitis read.
The NXT talents released today are all under 30-day non-compete clauses. They will officially become free agents from WWE on Sunday, May 29.
One NXT official expressed frustration today over how several angles, acts and storylines were impacted with little to no notice or preparation before today’s releases were handed down. This could be a reference to how Harland was involved in the current storyline between Joe Gacy and NXT Champion Bron Breakker, but was pulled from the segments out of nowhere earlier this month.
The release of Harland may be the biggest shocker from today’s cuts as he was signed last year with a strong buzz, compared to a young Brock Lesnar by many. Word going around is that NXT coaches and officials felt like Harland had not progressed in the ring quite enough for their liking.
Regarding Bivens’ departure, we noted earlier how he made it clear he did not plan on re-signing. WWE pushed him to re-sign last year, which led to a short extension, then they asked him to re-sign again this past February, but he reportedly made it clear he did not want to re-sign. Word now is that Bivens was actually offered a new contract in February, but he turned it down and told WWE he would not be staying. It was also noted that there had been a significant push within the WWE Digital department to feature Bivens in more content.
Kai was said to have seen her release coming. She reportedly indicated to WWE officials that she was not planning on renewing her contract.
For those who missed it, you can click here for news on Bivens’ departure and background info on Kai, and you can click here for background info on the other 7 cuts, and click here for the same on Lumis.
Word from within WWE is that these are the only cuts being made today.
Stay tuned for more.
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