There were not many main roster releases in 2018 and it was obvious that the stars who were given their release papers were the ones who the company had good reason to cut ties with.
Until April this year, WWE had gone some time without being forced to make mass budget cuts, with the last one coming in 2014 following the debut of the WWE Network. This year the company was forced to make some tough decisions because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It's been two years since many of these stars have stepped foot in a WWE ring, but what does life after WWE hold, and where have these former Champions ended up following their release?
#5 James Ellsworth
James Ellsworth was originally added to the WWE roster following a squash match against Braun Strowman. The star then went on to step into a feud between Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles on SmackDown before managing Carmella.
Carmella and Ellsworth had a strange storyline throughout 2017 and it was Ellsworth that helped the star win the Money in the Bank contract. After nearly a year away from the company, Ellsworth returned to help Carmella retain her Championship against Asuka at Money in the Bank the following year.
Following his WWE release, Ellsworth has wrestled a number of matches on the independent circuit as well as making an appearance at Impact Wrestling. The current COVID-19 pandemic has affected Indy promotions over the past four months, but when it's safe for shows to make their return, it's thought that Ellsworth will be back in the ring doing what he does best once again.
Ahead of the lockdown, James Ellsworth was able to wrestle against former WWE star Gillberg, who was competing in his final match.