On February 4, Maclin - known as Steve Cutler in WWE - was released after spending over seven years with the company.
Steve Maclin was one-third of the Forgotten Sons alongside Wesley Blake and Jaxson Ryker in NXT and at the start of their main roster run. WWE soon disbanded the stable after Ryker's disputable social media activity amidst the Black Lives Matter movement.
Steve Maclin and Blake later re-emerged as King Corbin's "Knights" on SmackDown before the former was let go. His release came amid reports of WWE being disgruntled after he contracted COVID-19 at a New Year's Eve party.
Speaking to Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful, Steve Maclin ran through how the procedure for his release went. He stated that weeks after the party, he was initially told he and Blake were "fine" while WWE CEO Vince McMahon was away.
"One of the writers we kept in touch with said, ‘No, you guys are fine. You guys were brought up in creative as well.’ Okay, cool," Maclin said. "Then weeks go by. Weeks go by again. I know Vince McMahon wasn’t at TV for a while ‘cause his brother passed and condolences for that. So, we knew obviously we’re not getting an answer ‘cause the boss isn’t there. Makes sense." (H/T Fightful)
Steve Maclin stated he contacted Senior Director of Talent Relations, Mark Carrano, in the meantime before Otis asked him to train at the WWE Performance Center.
"So, in the meantime I got in touch with Mark Carrano because Otis reached out to me, ‘Hey, brother, you mind coming around? Like rolling around with the big man class (at the Performance Center)? Could use some help.’ I’m like, ‘Dude, definitely,’" Maclin added. "It gets me in the ring, keeps me in shape, I get to actually be in a good ring at the PC and I know everybody and I can bump around and I know how Otis works. We’ve worked together for years."
After training with a few of WWE's bigger stars, Steve Maclin received a text from Carrano asking him to ring him at the first opportunity.
"So, that day I’m in there, it’s producer Adam Pearce, myself, Drew Gulak, Babatunde and then Big Jordan / Omos," Maclin continued. "We’re all just rolling around, and I get done in the ring and I have a text from Mark Carrano. He says, ‘Hey, Steve. When you get a chance, give me a call.’ I’m like, ‘Okay, cool. It’s just about, maybe, some creative.’ Text him back, I’m like, ‘Hey. I’m just leaving the PC now. Can you call now?’ He says, ‘Oh, I’m getting on a flight to Tampa. I can get back to you in a little bit.’ Okay, no problem."
Steve Maclin rang Carrano while eating dinner later in the evening, which was when the latter sealed his fate with the line no WWE performer wants to hear.
"Few hours go by, get home. Eating dinner, it’s around 7:30 and then I get the call from Carrano saying, ‘Hey, Steve.’ ‘Oh, hey, Mark. How is everything?’ ‘Good. I don’t like making these calls, but—’ Obviously. Instantly it just clicked. ‘Ah. I’m getting fired. Awesome.’ Looked at (Deonna). She’s like, ‘What’s the matter?’ I’m just like, ‘Ah, well I’m getting fired.’ ‘Lo and behold it’s the exact same timeframe kind of close to when she was let go. But, it was just one of those things," said Steve Maclin.
Steve Maclin was one of several WWE stars released this year
Steve Maclin was joined by Lars Sullivan in being released by WWE in February. A month later, in March, Andrade was finally granted his release.
On April 15, exactly one year after several WWE stars were let go at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company showed 10 names the door due to more "budget cuts."
In the Women's division, Mickie James was joined by Chelsea Green, Peyton Royce and, most surprisingly, her former IIconics teammate, Billie Kay.
Among the men were Samoa Joe, Bo Dallas, Mojo Rawley, Kalisto, Tucker, and Steve Maclin's former stablemate, Wesley Blake.
Thank you, Sean Ross Sapp and Fightful for the interview and transcription.