Yearly releases seem to be a new trend in the WWE. After WrestleMania 36, the company released more than 20 wrestlers. Some of those names included Kurt Angle, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, Rusev, and long-time referee Mike Chioda.
This calendar year, WWE has released more than a dozen superstars so far. Andrade, The Big Show, Steve Cutler, and Lars Sullivan were all released before WrestleMania, while 10 other superstars had to leave the company after The Show of Shows. Some of the names on the post-WrestleMania list have surprised everyone.
The superstars who were released from WWE after WrestleMania are listed below:
- Samoa Joe
- Billie Kay
- Peyton Royce
- Bo Dallas
- Mickie James
- Chelsea Green
- Wesley Blake
- Mojo Rawley
Many of these names were fan favorites in WWE.
Sometimes, underutilizing the talents of deserving stars and poor creative direction decreases fan interest. Here are five mistakes WWE made with some of these recently released superstars.
#5 Chelsea Green did not receive another shot on the WWE main roster
Chelsea Green was initially associated with WWE between 2014-2015. Before coming to NXT, she took part in the reality show, Tough Enough, and also played a role in a small segment on Monday Night RAW.
Green has been very unlucky with injuries since joining WWE. During her first in-ring match on NXT television in March 2019, she suffered a broken wrist.
December 2019 to January 2020 was a decent period of time for Green. She competed in a match against Charlotte Flair on RAW, signed with the Robert Stone brand on NXT, and also competed in the 2020 women's Royal Rumble match.
Later that year, in November 2020, Green made her debut on Friday Night Smackdown. She was a last-minute addition in a fatal four-way fight against Liv Morgan, Natalya, and Tamina to earn a spot on the women's Survivor Series team.
Bad luck struck again as she injured her wrist during the match. Since then, Green has been out of action. In November, Green signed a new deal with WWE, which is why the news of her release from the company in April came as a surprise.
Throughout her erratic WWE stint, Chelsea Green never got to live up to her best potential on the main roster.
Her track record with injuries surely gives one a little heartache, but she has excellent in-ring talent. If WWE had been a little patient with her, she would have definitely become an integral part of the women's division.
#4 WWE separated Heavy Machinery
Heavy Machinery was adored by the WWE Universe. Tucker and Otis had good chemistry with each other, and their comedic segments won many hearts.
Otis and Tucker made their debut on RAW in January 2019. A few months later, they were moved to Friday Night Smackdown because of the superstar shake-up. After WrestleMania 35, Tucker and Otis were involved in many feuds. Unfortunately, they always came up short in the tag team division.
From February 2020 onwards, the focus from them as a team shifted fully to Otis instead.
Mandy Rose and Otis got involved in a romantic angle on WWE Smackdown, and Tucker was fully sidelined, becoming a sidekick to Otis. Tucker then became like a manager while Otis basked in the limelight.
In October 2020, Tucker was drafted to RAW while Otis remained on Smackdown.
But the big betrayal happened at Hell in a Cell 2020. Tucker turned on Otis at the event and helped The Miz win Otis' Money in the Bank briefcase.
He was last seen in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and was eventually released in April 2021.
Heavy Machinery being split apart was a mistake made by WWE.
Tucker didn't impress much as a heel, nor did Otis create much of an impact going solo. Otis is a heel and is now paired with Chad Gable.
#3 WWE did not take advantage of Andrade's brilliant NXT stint on the main roster
In June 2016, Andrade made his WWE NXT television debut with a victory over Tye Dillinger at NXT Takeover: The End.
Since then, "El Idolo" was on the rise in NXT. In November 2017, Andrade defeated Drew McIntyre at NXT TakeOver: WarGames and became the NXT Champion.
Over the years, multiple NXT stars didn't make it big on the main roster. Those superstars are now either struggling on the mid-card or are no longer a part of the company. Unfortunately, Andrade was destined for the same fate.
Andrade struggled to make an impression on the main roster, even after an impressive match against AJ Styles during his early days.
Delivering a promo in the English language was never his strong point, but Zelina Vega was added with him to eliminate this weakness. However, she got released by WWE last year, and that made things more difficult for Andrade.
Andrade is a brilliant in-ring performer with a great physical presence.
His shortcomings on the microphone could have been compensated by a brilliant manager. Many big superstars have had managers speaking for them, with the best example being Brock Lesnar.
After Zelina Vega left WWE, the company had the option to book real-life couple Charlotte Flair and Andrade as a pair on television. People would have loved this pairing on the screen, and Andrade could have been presented in a better way.
#2 WWE separated The IIconics
In terms of wrestling and promos, both women are very talented and they know how to entertain the fans. The two stars joined WWE in 2015, and within three years, they were on the main roster.
The IIconics often ended up on the losing side of matches. However, Billie Kay and Peyton Royce delivered top-notch promos before their matches took place.
The smooth chemistry between them was a credit to their friendship since their younger years. At WWE WrestleMania 35, both superstars realized their dreams as they captured the Women's Tag Team Championships.
Although Royce and Kay were heels that night, the duo got emotional and could not control their tears of joy. Unfortunately, The IIconics lost their titles a few months later.
In August 2020, The IIconics lost to Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan, and as per the stipulation, the group had to disband.
That's where everything went south for both superstars.
It seemed that Peyton Royce would be given a huge singles push on RAW. However, she was paired with Lacey Evans instead.
Meanwhile, Billie Kay showcased her charisma in comedic segments on SmackDown, proposing her resume to multiple superstars to manage them. But her comedic potential was cut short when she got released from WWE in April 2021, alongside Royce.
Keeping The IIconics together could have added more flair to the women's tag team division. Their ability to entertain audiences would have given us some great storylines.
#1 WWE did not give Samoa Joe a consistent push in WWE
Samoa Joe is the most surprising name WWE has released this year. After all, he is one of the biggest stars in the wrestling business. Before his WWE career even began, The Samoan Submission Machine had already become a popular name in professional wrestling.
He joined WWE in 2015 and became the NXT Champion in a few months. He joined the main roster two years later, in 2017.
On the main roster, he became a two-time United States Champion and also challenged Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship.
But a series of mid-card matches and injuries stopped Joe from consistently having main event storylines with top superstars. Joe spent a significant chunk of his main roster career as a commentator because of his injuries.
Along with the injuries, Samoa Joe's age could have been a big factor for WWE to release him.
WWE got this wrong as they could have done a lot more with Joe. The former United States Champion could have walked into any WWE rivalry and gotten people invested.
In a few months, WWE Champion Bobby Lashley and WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns might be short of challengers. Samoa Joe would have been a perfect rival for them in the future.
Samoa Joe vs. Seth Rollins sounded like another interesting storyline.
Last year on RAW, Rollins and Joe had a heated exchange which could have acted as an excellent catalyst to ignite their rivalry. Unfortunately, The Samoan Submission Machine's WWE release has put an end to these interesting possibilities for now.
Which superstar do you think WWE missed the boat with? Let us know in the comments section below.