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By Mike Johnson on 2021-06-03 10:00:00


Why in the world would WWE release Braun Strowman?

There are a few potential reasons, and as I write this, I am not writing it to knock Strowman, who I think did a great job in his role, but consider this - he was signed to a new deal as AEW was forming, when WWE was rushing to lock everyone up to keep them from even potentially leaving as Jon Moxley did.  Now, it's a few years into the deal and it could be there's a sense of buyer's remorse, because they are paying him more than they feel they are getting out of him, similar to Gallows and Anderson signing the biggest money deals of their live and then being cut.  Maybe they felt they weren't going to make more out of him than they were paying him.  If you are being paid that level of money, they either have to do something with you or it's a waste.

It could have been that or something as simple as Strowman did something that made Vince McMahon decide he was done with him as there were times in the past where Strowman had a rep for taking a step forward and two steps back - or it could be nothing beyond the company just wanted to cut money from the books.  There have been a lot of major cuts across the board and I really don't believe a lot of these more recent cuts have been about CFO Kristen Salen and WWE President Nick Khan wanting to make sure the company is as in the black as possible in the financial ledger.  For some people who were let go, this was the equivalent of being hit with a bolt of lightning, it was something above and beyond anything they could have controlled.

Do you think he is AEW bound?

We have been told Braun made really big money on his last deal and was smart with it.  I don't think we've seen the last of him in the ring but I don't believe he'll need to be in a rush to take indy dates, if you know what I mean.

Why did they build up Aleister Black and then cut him?

Great question.  I know Black praised Vince McMahon on the way out, as he should have, but obviously if Vince felt there was major money to be made, he would have halted that release.  I think it comes down to this was a guy the company never really knew what to do with on the main roster and for some reason, he never broke out of those trappings.   I was told that this release shocked everyone, right down to the creative team, since they had just invested time and money in the vignettes, but at the end of the day, someone high up decided it was time to cut bait.  If I am Black, I follow Drew McIntyre's path when he was released and try to prove everyone "wrong."  Now is his chance to do just that as he never really had a chance to prove himself outside of NXT in my mind.

Was there a release you felt was a massive mistake?

I feel like everyone who was released, except Strowman, was in a position where the company didn't utilize them up to their true potential value.  To me, the biggest mistakes were Rubby Riott, who could work with anyone and had a great colorful look that lent itself to selling toys and merchandise but was never really tapped into doing much of worth especially after her shoulder surgeries and Buddy Murphy, who I feel is in the top 5% of in-ring performers today.  That was someone who, unless there was an outside issue we never learned about, should have been the modern day incarnation of a Curt Hennig as the working man's Intercontinental champion, used as the glue that provided the in-ring wrestling foundation for returning live events.  In my mind, that is not a talent you want to hand over to another company.

Could any of these talents end up on AEW All Out?

Updated: Apparently my math is terrible!  My apologies for that.

90 days from yesterday would be 8/31 and obviously that falls within the first week of September so it is possible, depending on when WWE is officially starting the clock....and if AEW is looking to bring any of them in.  

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