WWE Releases in 2021 & 2022 – Superstars, Wrestlers & Employees

WWE Releases year

2021 was the most volatile year in terms of WWE releases. The promotion released more than 100 wrestlers and employees combined during the year as they restructured the organization and their roster.

Here is the complete list of recent WWE releases in 2021 & 2022, including its superstar wrestlers, producers, referees, presenters, and other employees.

Contract Expired

Below is the list of wrestlers that left WWE after their contracts expired and they decided not to renew their deal:

  • Kushida(April 2022)
  • Cesaro(February 2022)
  • Adam Cole(August 2021)
  • Daniel Bryan(April 2021)
  • The Big Show(January 2021)

August 18, 2022 – Wrestlers

  1. Flash Morgan Webster
  2. Mark Andrews
  3. Sha Samuels
  4. Jack Starz
  5. Wild Boar
  6. Emilia McKenzie
  7. Dave Mastif
  8. Ashton Smith
  9. Amale
  10. Nina Samuel
  11. Sam Gradwell
  12. Dani Luna
  13. Rohan Raja
  14. Primate
  15. Kenny Williams
  16. Kirsty Bosley(ring announcer)
  17. Amir Jordan
  18. Xia Brookside
  19. Trent Seven
  20. Eddie Denis
  21. Saxton Hutley
  22. Nina Samuels
  23. Sid Scala(Manager)

Troy Donovan

Troy Donovan was released from his developmental contract due to some compliance issues. Later, it was reported that Donovan failed a drug test.

April 29, 2022 – Wrestlers

Another budget exercise saw some of the names from NXT getting released.

  • Dexter Lumis
  • Malcolm Bivens
  • Dakota Kai
  • Harland
  • Persia Pirotta
  • Raelyn Divine
  • Draco Anthony
  • Vish Kanya
  • Mila Malani
  • Blair Baldwin

Nash Carter

Nash Carter was fired from WWE on April 6, 2022, after his wife accused him of domestic abuse.

Carlos Cabrera

WWE’s longtime Spanish Commentator Carlos Cabrera was let go from the promotion on February 17, 2022. He had worked for the company since 1994.

January 6, 2022 – Wrestlers & Staff

  • Samoa Joe
  • Gabe Sapolsky

January 5, 2022 – Wrestlers, Coaches & Staff

The first mass WWE release of 2022 came on January 5, 2022. The company sent out a statement that these releases are the result of the evolution of NXT 2.0.

  • “Road Dogg” Brian James
  • Timothy Thatcher(Wrestler/Coach)
  • Danny Burch(Wrestler/Coach)
  • Hideki Suzuki/Hachiman(Wrestler/Coach)
  • Cathy Corino(coach)
  • Sarah Cummins(Senior Vice President of Consumer Products)
  • William Regal(Director of Talent Development and Head of Global Recruiting)
  • Dave Kapoor(Senior Vice President of Creative)
  • Ryan Katz(NXT Creative Producer)
  • Scott Armstrong(Backstage Producer)
  • George Carroll(Creative Writer)
  • Christopher Guy/Ace Steel(Performance Center Coach)

Toni Storm

Toni Storm reportedly asked for her release from WWE. The request was shocking for many in the promotion, but they granted her request. It is currently not known why Storm asked for the release, but the company felt that it would not be right to not release Storm after releasing so many wrestlers due to budget cuts.

Jeff Hardy

Jeff Hardy File Photo
Credit- WWE

Jeff Hardy left a WWE House show tag team match in between and exited through the crowd. It was suspected that this happened due to substance abuse. Hardy was released after he refused to get help and rehabilitation.

November 18, 2021 – 8 Wrestlers

WWE released 8 wrestlers from RAW and SmackDown. The highlight of this bunch was Hit Row members and Tegan Nox who were recently called up from NXT to SmackDown, and John Morrison.

  • John Morrison
  • Isaiah “Swerve” Scott
  • Ashante Adonis
  • Top Dolla
  • Drake Maverick
  • Tegan Nox
  • Jaxson Ryker
  • Shane Thorne

November 4, 2021 – 18 Wrestlers

WWE removed 18 wrestlers on November 4, 2021, with names from all three brands. The most shocking names from the list were that of Keith Lee, B-Fab, Karrion Kross, and Scarlett Bordeaux. Harry Smith and Eva Marie were the names signed in 2021 only.

  • Keith Lee
  • B-Fab
  • Karrion Kross
  • Scarlett Bordeaux
  • Nia Jax
  • Eva Marie
  • Mia Yim
  • Harry Smith
  • Oney Lorcan
  • Jessi Kamea
  • Franky Monet
  • Lince Dorado
  • Gran Metalik
  • Ember Moon
  • Katrina Cortez
  • Trey Baxter
  • Zayda Ramier
  • Jeet Rama

August 6, 2021 – 13 Wrestlers

In another set of releases, WWE let go 13 wrestlers from NXT on August 6, 2021. Bronson Reed was the most surprising of them all, as he was on the way to the main roster. WWE reportedly changed their approach for NXT and was looking for younger talent, which led to these releases. Soon after this, WWE announced the launch of NXT 2.0.

  • Bronson Reed
  • Asher Hale
  • Desmond Troy
  • Bobby Fish
  • Mercedes Martinez
  • Giant Zanjeer
  • Kona Reeves
  • Ari Sterling
  • Stephon Smith
  • Jake Atlas
  • Tyler Rust
  • Leon Ruff
  • Zechariah Smith

Ric Flair

Ric Flair was looking to work and make appearances beyond WWE and asked the promotion to end his Legends contract. After initial hesitation, WWE agreed to part ways with Nature Boy. Some reports added that  Flair had issues with WWE’s booking decisions and was not comfortable with his storyline with Lacey Evans.

Bray Wyatt

WWE parted ways with Bray Wyatt on July 31, 2021. There were several reasons reported for Wyatt’s WWE release, including Wyatt not agreeing to the booking decision, behavioural issues, breakdown of terms with Vince McMahon, etc. Another report in December suggested that Wyatt made a “lot of noise” and wanted to be released himself.

June 25, 2021 – 13 Wrestlers

13 more names belonging to NXT were released by WWE on June 25, 2021, including three tag teams.

  • Killian Dain
  • Curt Stallion
  • August Grey
  • Marina Shafir
  • Sunil Singh
  • Samir Singh
  • Tyler Breeze
  • Fandango
  • Arturo Ruas
  • Tony Nese
  • Ariya Daivari
  • Chase Parker
  • Matt Martel

June 2, 2021 – 6 Wrestlers

June 2 was another date when WWE decided to release some big names from RAW and SmackDown as part of their budget cut exercise. Except for Santana Garrett, all others could be considered significant stars.

  • Aleister Black
  • Buddy Murphy
  • Braun Strowman
  • Lana
  • Ruby Riott
  • Santana Garrett

May 19, 2021 – 7 Wrestlers

Seven wrestlers from NXT were released on May 19, 2021, with The Velveteen Dream being the most famous name among them. The reason for the releases was said to be budget cuts

  • Jessamyn Duke
  • The Velveteen Dream
  • Vanessa Borne
  • Skyler Story
  • Ezra Judge
  • Alexander Wolfe
  • Kavita Devi

April 15 Releases – 10 Wrestlers

WWE released the first bunch of wrestlers from the main roster due to budget cuts in 2021 on April 15. Among the 10 names that let go, Samoa Joe was later signed back in NXT. Kalisto asked to be relieved from his contract, and WWE granted his request.

  • Samoa Joe
  • Mickie James
  • Peyton Royce
  • Billie Kay
  • Bo Dallas
  • Chelsea Green
  • Kalisto
  • Wesley Blake
  • Tucker
  • Mojo Rawley


Andrade was unhappy with his booking in WWE and asked for his release. WWE granted his wishes on March 21, 2021. Former NXT Champion did not appear on WWE TV for 5 months before his release. He went for surgery in October 2020 but was ready for return in January 2021. WWE did not use him for two months after his return.

Steve Cutler

Steve Cutler was released by WWE on February 4, 2021. Reportedly, Cutler attended a New Year’s Party and later tested positive for COVID-19. Vince McMahon was furious at this negligence since he promised a safe environment for wrestlers.

Lars Sullivan

Lars Sullivan asked WWE to end his contract. He was facing anxiety issues and told the promotion that he could not wrestle anymore. After his failed WWE sting, he is seeking a different career.

WWE Backstage & Other Releases

  • Stan Stanski – Senior Vice President of Creative Services(November 4, 2021)
  • Greg Hamilton – Announcer(October 26, 2021)
  • Stephon Smith – NXT Referee
  • JoJo (Joseann Alexie Offerman) – Ring Announcer
  • Jeff Jarret – Backstage Producer
  • Canyon Ceman – Senior Vice President of Talent Development
  • Kenice Mobley – WWE RAW Writer
  • Tom Phillips – WWE RAW Commentator
  • Adnan Virk – WWE RAW Commentator
  • Susan Levison – Senior Vice President & Head of WWE Studios
  • Dan Humphreys – International Vice President of Communications
  • Brian Pellegatto – Senior Vice President of Production
  • Jay Rosenstock – Executive Vice President of International.
  • Makham Nolan – Vice President of Media Operations
  • James Wortman – Digital Media
  • Adnan Virk – WWE RAW Commentator
  • Jaylar Donlan – Executive Vice President of WWE’s Advanced Media Group
  • Drake Younger/Drake Wuertz – NXT Referee
  • Jake Clemons – NXT Referee
  • Mark Carrano – Senior Director of Talent Relations
  • Nicole Zeoli – Director of Talent Relations
  • Mead Rust – Vice President of Communications
  • Joe Villa – Manager of Publicity and Corporate Communications


  1. Guess there is no point of watching WWE anymore. The only one worth watching is Roman Reigns and even he is getting boring.

    1. Yeah only until his true self his face turn side the big dog roman reigns witch the big dog is coming soon we all know it and are sick of Roman reigns playing bad guy with the Usos and his little stupid advocate Paul heyman

  2. Well WWE is good but there r a few people that needs there titles taken away such as Bobby lashley and Roman reigns they do not deserved them titles at all only thing they r good at is to cheat that is the only thing they’re good at such as Bobby lashley when he’s wrestling and there’s a good wrestler in there about to take his championship he always has a sidekick MVP to help him cheat

    1. i agree that they both do not deserve those titles…i was actually at that show when Bobby Lashley lost the title. it was the best show of my life.I just hate that roman reigns STILL HAS THE TITLE…it is just mest up

  3. I really can’t believe that WWE made Alister come out and attack Big E. And then make him go to AEW, I could’ve at least seen a rivalry.

  4. Vince McMahon needs to retire and leave the WWE up to Triple H, Stephanie and Shane. He’s ruining his own product. He is to egomaniacal to realize it. Brock Lesnar is a part time bum who will not bring the ratings they need. All these releases that they had of major talent was stupid. Stop paying Brock to show up for only championship matches and give the real wrestlers that deserve a shot in WWE a chance to shine and show what they can do. I used to be a die hard WWE fan but now I’m seriously considering AEW because they recognize real talent and give them a place to shine. WWE ha become garbage tv.

    1. I completely agree. They need to get rid of Brock lesnar because he most certainly isn’t helping the ratings anymore. Plus he can’t really wrestle. He is only about power and that’s it. The other superstars that bust their ass for the WWE are not appreciated but lesnar who is never there is highly promoted. I am thinking about switching to AEW!!

    2. I agree about Brock but it’s Vince’s company and he can run it into the ground if he feels like it. AEW ain’t nothing but WWE has beens.

      1. Out of 128 roster slots, AEW currently has 44 wrestlers who were WWE “has beens”. So objectively, you’re already wrong. But, sure, spout your nonsense, I won’t stop you.

  5. Let’s hope that Charlotte Flair follows her stupid father out of WWE.She is so full of her self and the most hated female in WWE

  6. Honestly I gat alot to say like what’s wrong with vin McMahon 😪why Ruby riot,Daniel brian all he cares about is just that stupid Austin theory

    1. Daniel Bryan’s contract expired and he didn’t want to renew it he chose to go to aew for creative freedom kiddo

  7. roman reigns cant keep a title without the usos wiping his but any time he gets in trouble they have to bail his punk ass out

  8. To be honest, Braun strowman was my favorite wresler followed by Randy Orton, and when 11 year old me saw Braun strowman get released, i cryed.

  9. I agree that Vince should retire Shawn Michaels taking over NXT he’s completely destroyed what triple H made.
    Roman has become what Brock was and some time ago I do believe that Roman cried like a bitch about Brock showing up when he wanted to ain’t he doing the same thing

  10. The Quality of WWE matches has decreased dramatically these past years, matches become repetitive and boring(because of no creativity in them and of course a shitty PG product, that looks like a cartoon rather than a real professional wrestling match), Lesnar have no good matches, he just goes for some German suplexes and nothing else(in all these years, his matches were not as good as they advertised it and he is on most main events), Roman Reigns becomes a boring terrified bitch that always relies on others in his matches(and in many PPVs his low quality matches are main events) and it begins to become tedious after 600 days, This guy and his matches were great back then, when he was part of The Shield.
    Looks like they have no fresh creative juice anymore and are ruining these talents.

    Women’s matches improved very much over the years, and theirs is somewhat better than some of the men’s(Bianca Belair is too good for WWE, company doesn’t deserve her).
    And this Austin Theory guy is the most annoying and meaningless motherfucking character I saw in recent years, and many more examples that no one has the time to hear.
    With these releases in 2021and 2022, Looks like WWE doesn’t have any plan to become better, many great names are leaving or left(Bray Wyatt and Cesaro and Strowman and big show and even Daniel Bryan, seriously what the fuck???) and some names that don’t do anything good(Austin Theory or Brock Lesnar) stay.
    I know AEW is new and has some problems that they need to fix in years ahead, but the overall status and the quality of its matches(which are most important in a pro wrestling promotion) are way better than WWE. We cannot deny it now.

  11. Way too much talk and not enough GOOD bouts. Reigns and McIntire would still make a good bout if the Usos were not permitted near the ring. It is time for some legitimate wrestling not just shoulder blocks and “clotheslines”. Train these guys and women to use real wrestling holds and moves. Rhonda Rousey is a good example of real holds. Drop the foolishness of some of the entrances they have to perform before getting in the ring. A real bout between Stroman and Lesner would be great ,but alas Stroman is no longer there. Lesner is a trained MMA fighter and knows submission holds, but doesn’t use them ,just relying on power. WWE is failing to keep me interested, after all these years. Too bad.

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