SummerSlam 2019 was an interesting event. It was the last edition before the pandemic and one that happened less than eight months before WWE began releasing superstars more frequently.
The show was headlined by Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar - both of whom are still top stars for the company and have never been in question regarding their WWE status. The card featured 12 matches, out of which six superstars have been released.
While the card itself wasn't the best edition of SummerSlam in the last few years, it wasn't the worst either. Here are the six superstars from the show three years ago who are no longer with WWE:
#6. & 5. The IIconics - Billey Kay and Peyton Royce
The IIconics had an interesting run in WWE. They were loved (and hated) during their time in NXT and many expected them to be handled differently on the main roster. They had a run with the Women's Tag Team Championships, but there wasn't much else WWE did with them that was particularly memorable.
They were unceremoniously broken up in a very random stipulation match against the Riott squad that had no build-up to it. Peyton Royce later revealed that she wanted to part ways with Billie Kay to pursue a singles career.
At SummerSlam 2019, they unsuccessfully challenged Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross (now Nikki A.S.H.) in a Women's Tag Team Championship match. They would be released together on the budget cuts of April 2021.
#4. Ember Moon - Challenged for the SmackDown Women's Championship at SummerSlam
Ember Moon was a superstar who many believed was a future women's champion in WWE. She had one of the best in-ring skills in the women's division, but lacked an interesting gimmick to get to the next level.
At SummerSlam 2019, she lost to Bayley in a SmackDown Women's Title match.
As we have seen with many superstars, technical ability in the ring isn't enough to make it big in WWE. The company never giving her a proper storyline summed up her rather lackluster run on the main roster.
She would enjoy some success upon her return to NXT, but she was eventually released in November 2021. She now competes under the name Athena in All Elite Wrestling.
#3. Oney Lorcan
Oney Lorcan was a superstar beloved by the NXT fanbase. Although not a top star in the brand, he developed some fanfare and had a respectable run. His main roster run was primarily with 205 Live and he competed in NXT as well.
At SummerSlam 2019, he lost to Drew Gulak in a Cruiserweight Championship match. A few months later, he announced that he had signed a multi-year deal with WWE.
However, within two years, he requested his release and it was granted around November 2021.
#2. Buddy Murphy
Buddy Murphy is another superstar who could undoubtedly have thrived in WWE. He had the look, skill, and the ability to speak. Being associated with Seth Rollins during the latter's Monday Night Messiah run certainly helped, but it ended in less than a year when he betrayed the four-time world champion.
Prior to that, he competed at SummerSlam 2019, defeating Apollo Crews via disqualification during the pre-show. It was a forgettable match, but Murphy was never a forgettable star.
When he was released in June 2021, the consensus seemed to be that WWE made a mistake in doing so. Now wrestling as Buddy Matthews, he is a member of the House of Black faction of AEW.
#1. Bray Wyatt - Debuted The Fiend character at SummerSlam 2019
Bray Wyatt is the only superstar on this list who is yet to step back in the ring. Of all the WWE releases that happened in 2020 and 2021, perhaps none were more shocking than him.
When SummerSlam 2019 ended, all everyone was talking about was Bray Wyatt. He had just debuted The Fiend character and squashed Finn Balor in less than three-and-a-half minutes. But the entire time, from his entrance to his exit, fans were enamored. Receiving "that was awesome" chants after the match ended, it remains one of the most memorable SummerSlam moments of the past decade.
Bray Wyatt was viewed as a WWE lifer. He certainly checked all the boxes when it came to being a valuable superstar and he was a proven merchandise seller as well. His salary was in the millions and many believed that he was worth the investment despite only wrestling on pay-per-views/premium live events.
Many are still hoping for Wyatt's return to the ring.
We asked Evil Uno what's up with Andrade in AEW here.