WWE budget cuts have hit the company hard over the past 12 months. The company has been forced to adjust throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of WWE's biggest stars have lost their jobs as mass releases have continued. Several of the stars released were once seen as the future of the company.
None of the company's current champions were on the chopping block. There were, however, a few who dropped a title a few months prior to their release.
The following list looks at five former WWE Superstars released just months after holding a Championship.
#5. Former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle
WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle had quite the career leading up to 2006. As an Olympic Gold Medalist, Angle was pushed hard in WWE. He was able to obtain a number of championships in the seven years he spent on the main roster.
Heading into WrestleMania 22 in April 2006, Kurt Angle was the World Heavyweight Champion. It had become well-known in the company at the time that he was going through a rough patch. The biggest show of the year saw Angle defend his Championship against Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio.
The triple threat match at WrestleMania initially called for Orton to become Champion. However, it was revealed that this would be his final match before suspension due to violating WWE's Wellness Policy.
In the end, Rey Mysterio was the star who won the title instead. Just months after Mysterio's victory, Angle was gone from WWE.
Angle was drafted over to ECW, where he went on to become The Wrestling Machine. Just four months after dropping the title, Angle was released from WWE in August, later revealing that he had asked to leave the company.
The former Champion was working hurt and needed time away to heal. His last match was against Sabu on an episode of ECW which ended in a no contest.